Recently, I was interviewed by The Daily Beast about a new lawsuit that threatens the use of social media in the workplace. Employees should be able to build their personal branding using social media tools and not be obligated to hand over their profiles when they depart. In this case, Noah Kravitz, an employee at Phonedog.com in a social media role was sued $340,000 ($2.50 per each of his 17,000 followers per month) by his company after departing. There was no written agreement but supposedly there was a verbal one.
The only issue I find with this case is that Noah had the name “@Phonedog_Noah,” which means that he was obviously using his account on his company’s behalf and his company’s name was helping him build a following by association. If Noah loses his account, it will hurt his career. Phonedog.com will yield no results from his account because Noah’s followers care about him and have no relationship with his company. The case has been brought to court and lets hope it’s dropped because no one will ever want to work for Phonedog.com again (especially Gen-Y!).
I’ll be writing a piece of TIME.com soon about this issue and I’ve already interviewed several corporations to get their takes.