September 2, 2014

Employee Blogs and the Law

In an article that’s sure to take the joy out of any blogging enterprise, Internet Business Law Services has posted Internet Law: Employee Blogs Pose Potential Problems for Businesses.

While I’m sure that a number of large businesses have experienced problems with employees’ blogs (the article references a few cases), maybe the first step a company should take when employees complain in their blog is to take their complaints seriously! (Of course, I run a small business; what do I know about keeping peons in their place?)

This article talks specifically about personal blogs that employees work on after hours (or perhaps when the boss isn’t looking.) They look at what happens when the employees blog about work, disparage co-workers, or share company secrets.
If you do run a large business, or you’ve given your employees good reason to despise you, the article does have some helpful hints on new entries for the employee handbook, like making sure employees who blog about work state that these are their own opinions and not that of the company, and not to reveal any trade secrets.

Unfortunately, the article doesn’t give any advice on keeping your employees happy, engaged, or giving them reasons to blog positive.

2 comments for Employee Blogs and the Law »

  1. Your comments “I run a small business; what do I know about keeping the peons in their place” shows a typical “big business is bad” attitude. Big business’s were once small – when did they become bad? When they became successful? Yes some businesses, both small and large are bad, but careful with the broad brush.

    I started a software company that eventually became medium size. I experienced the problem of anonymous e-mails distributed to large groups of people. Sometimes you can not make a person happy and sometimes you just hire the wrong person. I know that when I had a anonymous employee distributing misleading, incorrect, and negative material it it did hurt the company and all the other hard working employees that worked there. I could not wait to find the person and fire them.

    I do hope you are successful enough someday to actually experience what you are talking about.

    Comment by Michael Brown — December 13, 2006 @ 8:54 am

  2. Michael,

    Thanks for calling me on that. Absolutely there are some great large companies out there, and after hiring a certain number of people absolutely you will have hired a few bad apples…or at least cranky, noisy, email-forwarding, blogging ones.

    It was meant to be a *little* tongue-in-cheek.

    However, I don’t judge success by how many people I can hire. I just finished Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big and it reinforced some of the thoughts and beliefs that have been playing around in my head.

    Review here:

    Comment by Rich Brooks — December 13, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

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