♫ Let It Go, Let it Go ♫

By Beth Ann Lennon

When most people think of employment law problems arising from the use of social media, they envision irresponsible employees taking to the internet to rant about their employer. However, a recent case out of Oregon shows that employers can cause just as much trouble as their employees when they decide to overshare online. A company that was sued by a former employee and lost is facing a new retaliation lawsuit nearly thirteen years after the employment relationship ended because its CEO decided to take up blogging. This blog, which was widely publicized on the CEO’s LinkedIn account, identified the former employee by name and lambasted what the CEO called “fake whistleblowing.”  Now, a jury gets to decide whether the blog amounts to “dissemination of a negative employment reference” which would “deter a reasonable employee from engaging in protected activity.” And because this is the internet, it doesn’t matter that the CEO ultimately redacted the former employee’s name from his posts, as there likely will always be “an ‘internet presence’ associated with the material” that was published on the blog. In other words, when we’re talking about the internet, there are no take-backs.