Human Resources Archiving Social Media

| April 21 2014

MOMA-SF.jpgFor employers and human resources archiving social media is a necessary compliance issue.

Businesses increasingly rely on social media to communicate. Social media lends itself to quick deletion and dissolution, mis-interpretation, mis-use, questionable provenance and accountability and as a result, companies have had to find new ways of monitoring and regulating online content, particularly within the workplace as Ryan Holmes writes on HBR. Employers and HR departments are finding themselves faced with the dilemma of regulating and recording employee online conduct, within and outside the work environments, while also monitoring the information exchange among employees, between public and the employees and about the employees themselves. Governments, law-makers and regulators are moving rapidly, in response to this evolving world of social media communication.

It is, therefore, not surprising that employer/employee relationships are faced with the confusing upshot of these developments. During recruitment, employers review a candidates online presence, in particular their social media, which may ultimately impact screening and hiring decisions. As well as being alarming for candidates, this is also a concern for law makers and legal professionals whose responsibility incorporates monitoring, regulating and providing guidance on such matters, particularly within an employment context. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission convened a meeting on March 12th 2014 to examine the impact of social media in the workplace on Equal Employment Opportunity law, as a potential for the breach of state, local and federal laws. The case of Nieman v. Grange Mutual Casualty Co., No. 11-3404, Opinion, at 4 (C.D. Ill. 2012) was a point in exemplifying how the availability of personal information on social media sites could be used in discrimination cases against employers. Although the judges ruled against the plaintiff, it highlights the need for caution and necessary due-diligence.

Besides hiring, the spread of personal and business information online has blurred the line that formerly separated private from public spaces. Managers befriend employees on Facebook and Twitter, share personal photos on Instagram and Snapchat. Snapchat, the time limited messaging service, self-deletes  after a period of time. How do you regulate employee communication through these platforms and even if you did, how would you capture the content? Renee Jackson of Nixon Peabody LLC, a law firm known to Hanzo, makes a case to err on the side of caution, as harassment and discrimination cases in employment practice are beginning to surface.

Hanzo understands that regulating and retaining social media content within businesses and institutions is a necessity. While legal and HR advice is outside our realm of expertise,   Hanzo’s On-Demand social media archive service, will capture sites in native format, making it easily accessible in readiness for litigation.

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