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Employers Access to Employee Social Media

Savannah, GA |

Services Store owner here. Opened a FB tab on company computer, the employee was logged in to their personal account and a message was visable CLEARLY outlining their intentions to breach their Restrictive Covenant Agreement Not to Compete. I was not going to read it, but I saw the sender was a client of my company!!! No kidding...I was in shock that they could be this bold. Maybe asking to be fired & using this as a set up knowing I would see it ?? Since it was the employees personal account, is there any way to use this message to terminate the employee? I read that the laws in this area are fast changing. Direction appreciated.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. If GA is an Employee At Will state you can terminate for any reason. If they are using company computers for personal use they have no real expectation of privacy. Worse, if they are trying to steal your clients they dont deserve any.

    If this Answer was of assistance please mark it as "helpful." Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.

  2. You have strong rights here. I'd suggest that you FIRST covertly find out what else is going on with those on line chats BEFORE you approach the employee. You will learn who is at the other end of those conversations. If you take legal action, you will know who you need to depose. The more you know, the more power you have in litigation. As an employer, you have the legal right to install monitoring software which captures info in the background. Install something like to capture info for a few days.

  3. You need to see a computer security tech confidentiality and have monitoring software installed done it is YOUR computer and YOUR intellectual property this crook is likely to be stealing. You also need to watch your cash drawer, your tools, and your customer lists and account books. As soon as you nab a violation, you likely need to can this guy and do any necessary damage control. And, let this be a lesson to verify even when you trust.

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

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