Today, around seventy percent of the United States population uses some kind of social media website to connect with their friends and share updates about their lives. Consequently, users have the ability to relay vast amounts of information about themselves to others. Experts advise social media users to exercise extreme caution, especially when they are currently involved in the legal process, including workplace claims. For more information on why you should avoid social media during your workplace claim, please continue reading, then contact an experienced New York employment lawyer today. Some reasons you should avoid social media while your New York workplace claim is pending include:
Your employer can access your social media account information
New York employers may lawfully access and use your Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or other social media accounts, or even your email, against you when defending themselves from a harassment or discrimination claim.
Your content may contradict your testimony
You should expect that your employer can and will use everything at their disposal to discredit your case. Without realizing it, your posts may damage your case. Examples of content that may contradict your testimony include:
- A disabled employee, who claims that their former employer allegedly fired them because of their disability, posts photos and/or videos of him- or herself playing a sport
- A former employee, who claims that they suffered emotional distress because of their firing, updates their status, stating that they are “in a better place” following termination
- An employee posts about how they will “destroy” their former employee in a courtroom, even going so far as to provide false information
- A former worker who provides incorrect information in their LinkedIn account, including exaggerating their duties or education history
Damaging comments from family and friends
Even the content that witnesses post on social media can hurt your case, They might contradict your claims about your experience, or make statements about how much money you want to receive for your case. Besides painting you in a bad light, these things can damage the reliability of your evidence.
Social media posts are admissible in court
While one’s social media posts are not automatically admissible as evidence, the court may render them admissible if it determines that one’s posts follow New York’s Rules of Evidence. Generally, courts categorize out-of-court statements as inadmissible hearsay. Nonetheless, they routinely make exceptions for the statements of a party. During a workplace claim, your employer can use your statements to others outside of court against you because you are a party to the case. Therefore, the court will consider your social media posts as statements. Additionally, if they contradict the same person’s testimony in court, the court may admit statements by family and friends.
Complete privacy does not exist
Even in the event that you make your account private, your employer may ask your family and friends to give them the information voluntarily or take advantage of New York’s Discovery Rules. With a court order in hand, your employer may have access to your entire social media history.
If you do not know where to turn, speak with Adnan Mirza, Esq. immediately.
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