Copyright Ownership in the Workplace: Work Made for Hire

small business word cloudAs a small business owner, you have probably hired a contractor or employee to design your website, write articles, copy, and incorporate pictures. You may also have had additional help in promoting and branding your company. If you received assistance in these tasks, you might not be the owner of the copyrightable work product created by the contractor or employee. In the United States, copyright ownership generally vests in the creator of the work. If you contracted with a web designing firm to design and populate your website, you are not the creator of the site content. In order to claim ownership of the copyright work, you must include a work made for hire clause in your independent contractor and employment agreements. Retaining original copyright ownership is more advantageous than licenses and assignments. You can avoid contractual complications and restrictions that accompany licenses. Work made for hire copyright expires 95 year after first publication or 120 years after creation; this expiration is considerably longer than the 35 years statutory termination for certain licenses and assignments.

Independent Contractors

An independent contractor owns the copyrights to his or her work, unless a written agreement states otherwise. You may commission an independent contractor to do the following work while retaining ownership:

  • Contribution to a collective work
  • Part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work
  • Translation
  • Supplementary work
  • Compilation
  • Instructional text
  • Test and the answer material
  • Atlas

Notice that the commissions do not encompass all copyrightable works. You cannot claim original ownership of some copyrightable works (such as computer software) created entirely by an independent contractor. Instead, you should consider hiring an employee to prepare such work.

Employees

A copyrightable work prepared by an employee is usually considered the employer’s copyright. However, the employer only owns the copyright if the work was prepared within the scope of employment. An employee may be able to contest the employer’s ownership of the copyright by claiming that the work does not fall within his or her scope of work. In these cases, the court usually asks three questions to interpret the employee’s scope of work:

  • Was the employee hired for the purpose of preparing copyrightable works?
  • Was the work created during the employer authorized time and space limits?
  • Was the work created (at least in part) to serve the employer?

As an extra precaution, you may add a work made for hire clause and an assignment clause to employment agreements to secure the company’s rights in works produced by its employees.

Prioritizing proper copyright ownership in the beginning can save numerous headaches in the future. If you wish to pursue an enforcement action against infringement or sell your company, you will likely need to make representations regarding copyright ownership. Managing copyright issues years down the road can be expensive and time-consuming in time-sensitive situations.

Beyond your Legal Rights: Trademark Bullying

Trademark BullyTrademark bullying is when a trademark owner zealously enforces their trademark rights outside the scope of the trademark law. Trademark bullying does not necessarily result in negative legal reactions, but the public backlash from trademark bullying can be costly. Consult your trademark counsel when determining the right course of action to infringement. Sometimes your marketing staff and your lawyer need to work together in order to produce the best outcome for the company.

“Bullies”                                                                                                                                           

Continual monitoring and enforcement is essential to protecting your trademark rights from infringement and dilution. However, if you believe that another party inadvertently infringed upon your trademark right, you might consider calling or sending a polite close and desist letter instead of threatening lawsuits. A polite initial response can reduce potential negative publicity and public backlash and perhaps even drum up some positive publicity. Consider the following options when you identify an infringer that may cause you bad publicity.

Have you Tried Calling?: A written cease and desist letter may be used against you in negative ad campaigns. Instead, you may wish to call the infringer and explain the situation. You can assert your trademark rights while minimizing misunderstandings by simply calling the other party.

The Polite Cease and Desist: A cease and desist letter can effectively assert your right while giving the other party an opportunity to fix the infringement issue. This method is more likely to elicit positive response from the accidental infringer and resolve the issue faster.

The Permission Letter: Unique situations require tailored responses. Here is a creative method of drumming up positive PR while responding to a legal outside trademark use.

“Targets”

The first step is to determine if the other party’s action (usually a cease and desist letter) extends beyond their legal trademark rights. Such analysis can be quite costly but necessary in order to determine your next course of action. If the financial value attached to your brand is still minimal you might consider changing your brand within a reasonable period of time and demanding compensation for the cost of rebranding. If the cost associated with your brand (in terms of branded products, loss of market shares, cost of rebranding, and loss of customer good will) is too great, ask your lawyer about the following options:

Coexistence Agreement: A trademark agreement will allow both parties to use similar marks and coordinate efforts so that neither mark is weakened.

Consent Agreement: The registered party agrees to allow the other to use the mark under certain terms for some incentive.

If it is difficult or impossible to negotiate with the other party, you may consider more costly actions such as…

Litigation: You can attain a judgment from the court that you are not violating your opponent’s trademark rights.

 

Ten Issues to Consider in Your Company’s Social Media Presence

Businessman with social media concepts

  1. Trademark, Cybersquatting or Impersonation-

Social Media sites do very little to prevent anyone from adopting usernames and using trademarks that belong to someone else. They can misdirect traffic from your customers and create confusion. Trademark owner bears the responsibility of monitoring these sites.

  1. Trademark Infringement is Rampant in Social Media-

 

Bloggers, video posters and chat room participants frequently use trademarks without licenses. These individuals believe they are just chatting and do not realize they are infringing. Enforcement of this is almost impossible because of the sheer volume of infringement and the speed at which the infringement can spread.

 

  1. Unsolicited Ideas and Brand Damage-

 

With social media posts in the hands of the consumers, they are impossible to control. The company needs to actively monitor the posts for intellectual property infringement.

 

  1. No Back Up of Intellectual Property-

Often social media sites have terms and Conditions of Service that allow them to shut down at any time, without notice to the account holder. Failure to back up the company’s posts and blogs may result in a loss of intellectual property.

  1. User Generated Content-

 

This is material generate by the public and uploaded to a company’s site. This is a very important piece to social media because it creates the interaction between the company and their customers. The company should have posted policies to prevent the submission of material that are copyrighted.

 

  1. Are Tweets protected by Copyright?-

 

The answer to this is generally, No. The company needs to decide if it is valuable to them to make their thoughts available to the general public in a format that may not be protected by copyright.

 

  1. Unauthorized Disclosure of Trade Secrets by Employees-

 

This is a risk a company takes when they do not have appropriate internal policies in place regarding sharing confidential information or trade secrets through their social media sites.

  1. International Laws govern Social Media-

Users and reach of social media are international. Companies who are looking to protect their trademarks have to try and keep up with monitoring them globally. This is a huge undertaking.

 

  1. Ownership of the Social Media Account-

Frequently a company will ask an employee to set up and manage their social media site. Who owns the account? Companies should consider clearly addressing the ownership of company social media accounts in agreements with their employees, such as employee proprietary information and invention assignment agreements. Agreements like this should state, in part, that all social media accounts that employees register or manage as part of their job duties or using company resources – including all associated account names and handles, pages, profiles, followers and content – are the property of the company, and that all login information and passwords for such accounts are both the property and the confidential information of the company and must be returned to the company upon termination or at any other time upon the company’s request.

  1. Ownership of the Followers-

If an employee is asked to manage a site they essentially become the “voice” of the company and his or her style and personality may be essential to the success of that site. As a result, the lines between “brand” of the company and the “brand” of the individual may become blurred. And when the company and the individual part ways it can create issues regarding the ownership of the related social media accounts and followers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Risky Business: The Perils of Independent Contractor Misclassification

freelanceHiring independent contractors instead of employees often has a financial benefit for businesses due to savings in payroll taxes and employment benefits, and avoidance of wage and hour regulations. However, if a state or federal agency discovers that an independent contractor is misclassified, the business faces back pay, fines, interest, civil and criminal litigation costs, and business restructuring costs. All benefits gained from the misclassification are lost and more! If the business does not pay all associated fines and interest, the overflow debt may then be held against the owner’s personal accounts.

Several states and federal agencies monitor independent contractor misclassification; the misclassification identification in one agency often has a domino effect, brings all agencies and formerly misclassified employees pounding on your door, demanding money. The cost associated with this risky mistake can realistically drive you out of business. In case you are still unconvinced of the severity of the misclassification, the following article describes penalties associated with violations in Nevada.

 

The burden of proof rests upon the employer to determining whether an independent contractor relationship exists. The employer needs to demonstrate the existence of three factors.

  • The person has been and will continue to be free from control or direction from the employer regarding the performance of services;
  • The service is either outside the usual course of the business for which the service is performed or that the service is performed outside of all the places of business of the enterprise for which the service is performed; and
  • The service is performed in the course of an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business in which the person is customarily engaged, of the same nature as that involved in the contract of service.

 

They’re Watching You

The following Nevada agencies monitor independent contractor misclassifications:

  • Division of Industrial Relations, Nevada Department of Business and Industry
  • Employment Security Division (“ESD”)
  • Office of the Labor Commissioner
  • Nevada Department of Taxation
  • Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”)

 

The following federal agencies monitor independent contractor misclassifications:

  • Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (“WHD”)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)
  • Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”)

 

Agencies choose to investigate when…

  • Your “independent contractor” files an unemployment claim
  • Independent contractor complaints (e.g. By a competitor)
  • You independent contractor’s lawsuit against you
  • Random audits
  • Internet registration process
  • INTERAGENCY REFERRALS

 

Heavy Consequences

  • Employment benefits including health insurance, retirement contribution, stock options, paid vacations, sick days, life insurance, disability insurance, etc.
  • Payroll taxes for each misclassification during each tax period including Social Security and Medicare taxes, federal unemployment insurance taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, etc.
  • Back wages, overtime pay, FMLA leave, and other employment law compliances fines
  • Interests and penalty on everything.
  • Gross misdemeanor criminal charges.
  • Civil action suits by the Nevada Attorney General and class action suits by misclassified workers.
  • Restructuring costs to ensure current and future workers will be properly classified.

 

Remember, these liabilities may pierce the corporate veil, becoming the liability of the owners and corporate officers, if not paid.

 

Learn from Microsoft’s Mistake

The IRS found Microsoft’s employment misclassification in the early 1990s and charged Microsoft millions in fees and penalties and caused Microsoft to restructure its human resources. After the federal government was finished with Microsoft, the company faced a civil suit for employment benefits from eight of the previously misclassified workers. Microsoft lost the suit in the circuit court and settled the case for $97 million.

 

Riskier than Ever!

Since 2011, the federal government has cracked down on employment classification, adding over a hundred monitoring agents and $25 million in funding to catch misclassifications. Specific task forces communicate between agencies to ensure that misclassifications are fully penalized by various agencies. This trend is not changing; in 2013, the federal government budgeted $14 million of grant money to assist states in identifying misclassifications. Now more than ever, business owners should be vigilant in employment classification.

 

Words Don’t Matter

Nevada has a counterintuitive definition for independent contractors. Designating the business relationship in an independent contractor agreement and actually perceiving your worker as an independent contractor is not enough. To proactively ensure that your workers are properly classified, call the lawyers at the Drinkwater Law Office.

Copyright Ownership in the Workplace: Work Made for Hire

Copyright 2 Copyright StampsAs a small business owner, you have probably hired a contractor or employee to design your website, write articles, copy, and incorporate pictures. You may also have had additional help in promoting and branding your company. If you received assistance in these tasks, you might not be the owner of the copyrightable work product created by the contractor or employee. In the United States, copyright ownership generally vests in the creator of the work. If you contracted with a web designing firm to design and populate your website, you are not the creator of the site content. In order to claim ownership of the copyright work, you must include a work made for hire clause in your independent contractor and employment agreements. Retaining original copyright ownership is more advantageous than licenses and assignments. You can avoid contractual complications and restrictions that accompany licenses. Work made for hire copyright expires 95 year after first publication or 120 years after creation; this expiration is considerably longer than the 35 years statutory termination for certain licenses and assignments.
Independent Contractors
An independent contractor owns the copyrights to his or her work, unless a written agreement states otherwise. You may commission an independent contractor to do the following work while retaining ownership:
• Contribution to a collective work
• Part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work
• Translation
• Supplementary work
• Compilation
• Instructional text
• Test and the answer material
• Atlas
Notice that the commissions do not encompass all copyrightable works. You cannot claim original ownership of some copyrightable works (such as computer software) created entirely by an independent contractor. Instead, you should consider hiring an employee to prepare such work.
Employees
A copyrightable work prepared by an employee is usually considered the employer’s copyright. However, the employer only owns the copyright if the work was prepared within the scope of employment. An employee may be able to contest the employer’s ownership of the copyright by claiming that the work does not fall within his or her scope of work. In these cases, the court usually asks three questions to interpret the employee’s scope of work:
• Was the employee hired for the purpose of preparing copyrightable works?
• Was the work created during the employer authorized time and space limits?
• Was the work created (at least in part) to serve the employer?
As an extra precaution, you may add a work made for hire clause and an assignment clause to employment agreements to secure the company’s rights in works produced by its employees.
Prioritizing proper copyright ownership in the beginning can save numerous headaches in the future. If you wish to pursue an enforcement action against infringement or sell your company, you will likely need to make representations regarding copyright ownership. Managing copyright issues years down the road can be expensive and time-consuming in time-sensitive situations.

Copyright 101: Use and Compliance in Your Workplace

stamp copyright with red text on whiteWhether you are aware of it, your business probably deals with copyright issues in one manner or another. Copyright is pervasive in business activities, but is your business properly protected? Proper protection entails securing your own copyrights and avoiding infringement upon others’ copyrights. Consider the following best practice suggestions:

Use                                                                                                                                                     

  • Create a copyright use policy that explains how employees, independent contractors, and other related parties should use and protect your copyright.
  • Train your employees and independent contractors to recognize your protected copyrights and proper procedures to protect your copyrights.
  • Have all members sign the policy acknowledging your ownership of the copyright and their understanding of their responsibilities.
  • Create and implement a non-disclosure policy regarding all intellectual property, including copyrights.

Compliance

You may well be held liable for any copyright infringement claims resulting from your employees’ actions. Such claims may cost you $250,000 and 5 years in prison. 18 USC 2319, 3571(b). You may be infringing upon another’s copyright if you play music at work or share online pictures or writings. Your ability to access these materials does not translate to your ability to use these works. Consider the following best practice suggestions:

  • Create and implement a copyright compliance policy that:
    • Explains the definition of a copyright and covered material.
    • Lists examples of common copyright infringement in the workplace.
    • States your policy of honoring copyright.
    • Details consequences of copyright infringement.
    • Details procedural steps to seek legal advice if your staff is uncertain about copyright compliance.
  • Train your staff members to understand their responsibility of avoiding copyright infringement.
  • Have all members sign the policy acknowledging their understanding of responsibilities.
  • Purchase a universal copyright license to prevent any accidental infringement.

CHARGING ORDER PROTECTION

iStock_000028924588Small (1)

The protection of assets is generally one of the biggest reasons to form a legal entity. Specifically, the protection of business assets from an owner’s personal liabilities is critical to a business’ continuing success. In many states, a personal creditor may charge a stockholder’s stock with payment of a judgment. Such a remedy could result in the forced liquidation of a viable business to satisfy an owner’s personal debt to the detriment of other owners.

 

In Nevada, charging order protection is extended to partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations. What this means is that a personal creditor’s only remedy against an owner’s stock is a charging order and, as a result, that creditor must wait for distributions from that entity to satisfy any judgment. The creditor cannot force distributions from the entity, nor can the creditor exercise any control over the entity; thereby allowing the business to continue operations despite the creditor’s claim.

 

LLCs and Partnerships

 

Nevada has long recognized charging order protection for limited liability companies and partnerships, but there has always been a question as to whether that protection extended to single-member LLCs. The case law leaves some doubt and more recent decisions appeared to be chipping away at a member’s ability to protect its membership interest if the LLC was a single-member LLC.

 

To remedy this, in 2011 the Nevada legislature addressed this issue and provided that “the exclusive remedy by which the judgment creditor of a member or an assignee of a member may satisfy a judgment out of a member’s interest of the judgment debtor, whether the limited liability company has one member or more than one member.”

 

Corporations

 

Nevada was the first state to provide charging order protection to certain corporations under NRS 78.746. This provision provides the exclusive remedy available to a judgment creditor from a stockholder’s stock. The judgment creditor is only provided the rights of an assignee of the stock and has no rights to management or control of the corporation, provided that the corporation meets the following requirements:

 

  • Has less than 100 stockholders of record, at any time;
  • Is not a subsidiary of a publicly traded corporation or subsidiary of the same; and
  • Is not a professional corporation

 

These restrictions closely mirror the IRS limitations for s-corporations and include most small businesses.

 

Conclusion

 

The expansion of these rights to these types of entities helps to continue Nevada’s business friendly reputation. However, it is unclear when and if other states will follow suit with similar legislation, which leaves the answer unclear as to whether this law will be respected outside of Nevada.

Risky Business: The Perils of Independent Contractor Misclassification

freelanceHiring independent contractors instead of employees often has a financial benefit for businesses due to savings in payroll taxes and employment benefits, and avoidance of wage and hour regulations. However, if a state or federal agency discovers that an independent contractor is misclassified, the business faces back pay, fines, interest, civil and criminal litigation costs, and business restructuring costs. All benefits gained from the misclassification are lost and more! If the business does not pay all associated fines and interest, the overflow debt may then be held against the owner’s personal accounts.

Several states and federal agencies monitor independent contractor misclassification; the misclassification identification in one agency often has a domino effect, brings all agencies and formerly misclassified employees pounding on your door, demanding money. The cost associated with this risky mistake can realistically drive you out of business. In case you are still unconvinced of the severity of the misclassification, the following article describes penalties associated with violations in Nevada.

 

The burden of proof rests upon the employer to determining whether an independent contractor relationship exists. The employer needs to demonstrate the existence of three factors.

  • The person has been and will continue to be free from control or direction from the employer regarding the performance of services;
  • The service is either outside the usual course of the business for which the service is performed or that the service is performed outside of all the places of business of the enterprise for which the service is performed; and
  • The service is performed in the course of an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business in which the person is customarily engaged, of the same nature as that involved in the contract of service.

 

They’re Watching You

The following Nevada agencies monitor independent contractor misclassifications:

  • Division of Industrial Relations, Nevada Department of Business and Industry
  • Employment Security Division (“ESD”)
  • Office of the Labor Commissioner
  • Nevada Department of Taxation
  • Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”)

 

The following federal agencies monitor independent contractor misclassifications:

  • Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (“WHD”)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)
  • Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”)

 

Agencies choose to investigate when…

  • Your “independent contractor” files an unemployment claim
  • Independent contractor complaints (e.g. By a competitor)
  • You independent contractor’s lawsuit against you
  • Random audits
  • Internet registration process
  • INTERAGENCY REFERRALS

 

Heavy Consequences

  • Employment benefits including health insurance, retirement contribution, stock options, paid vacations, sick days, life insurance, disability insurance, etc.
  • Payroll taxes for each misclassification during each tax period including Social Security and Medicare taxes, federal unemployment insurance taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, etc.
  • Back wages, overtime pay, FMLA leave, and other employment law compliances fines
  • Interests and penalty on everything.
  • Gross misdemeanor criminal charges.
  • Civil action suits by the Nevada Attorney General and class action suits by misclassified workers.
  • Restructuring costs to ensure current and future workers will be properly classified.

 

Remember, these liabilities may pierce the corporate veil, becoming the liability of the owners and corporate officers, if not paid.

 

Learn from Microsoft’s Mistake

The IRS found Microsoft’s employment misclassification in the early 1990s and charged Microsoft millions in fees and penalties and caused Microsoft to restructure its human resources. After the federal government was finished with Microsoft, the company faced a civil suit for employment benefits from eight of the previously misclassified workers. Microsoft lost the suit in the circuit court and settled the case for $97 million.

 

Riskier than Ever!

Since 2011, the federal government has cracked down on employment classification, adding over a hundred monitoring agents and $25 million in funding to catch misclassifications. Specific task forces communicate between agencies to ensure that misclassifications are fully penalized by various agencies. This trend is not changing; in 2013, the federal government budgeted $14 million of grant money to assist states in identifying misclassifications. Now more than ever, business owners should be vigilant in employment classification.

 

Words Don’t Matter

Nevada has a counterintuitive definition for independent contractors. Designating the business relationship in an independent contractor agreement and actually perceiving your worker as an independent contractor is not enough. To proactively ensure that your workers are properly classified, call the lawyers at the Drinkwater Law Office.

Hard-Working Job Descriptions

Hard working job desc.

The next time you sit down to write your employee job description, consider dedicating some time to ensure that the description is clear and comprehensive. A proper job description can increase your business productivity and minimize legal liabilities. Consider the following functions of your job description:

  • Attract your ideal candidate: Job seekers often self-screen through job descriptions, attract the most suitable candidates by providing them with comprehensive descriptions.
  • Organizational Management: Writing a job description can help you think through your organization needs, workload allocation, and division of labor. A clear job description not only helps the prospective applicant, but also your internal management.
  • Expectation & Accountability: Help employees understand their role and your expectation at the onset so they are not surprised during the evaluation. For example a clear job description should place different emphasis on tasks so the employee knows how to prioritize work time.
  • Set the Benchmark: Your job description should set the standard for the position. From a clear standard you will be able to reward employees who excel with minimal accusations of discriminatory pay (Equal Pay Act). You can also defend against unfair hiring claims with your standard. The benchmark also helps you assess your business progress and human resource needs.
  • Documentation: During performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, and termination planning, you should use the job description to document and support your rationale. Consistent documentation can be helpful in wrongful termination suits.
  • Exempt vs. Nonexempt: Under the Fair Labor Standard Act, you must pay nonexempt employees overtime for working over 40 hours a week. Your job description should indicate if the position is exempt or nonexempt.
  • Highlight Essential Functions: Under federal law (American Disability Act, Pregnancy Disability Act, Family Medical Leave Act, etc.) you are required to give reasonable accommodations to employees if they are able to perform the essential functions and to redistribute marginal functions. By identifying essential and non-essential functions in your job description, you avoid these types of law suits.
  • Physical Requirement: At some point, your employee may have to take some time off for medical reasons. A proper job description with the necessary physical requirements will help their doctor determine if they can safely return to work. It will also help you determine if you must place your employee on light duty or make other accommodations.

Your job description can be a useful tool for your business. Be sure to continuously use and update your job descriptions so that they can properly serve you. By incorporating the job description in different aspects of your business, from hiring and orientation to discipline and termination, you optimize the use of the description and give yourself numerous reminders to update it.

Ten Issues to Consider in Your Company’s Social Media Presence

  1. Businessman with social media concepts

 

 

 

  1. Trademark, Cybersquatting or Impersonation-

Social Media sites do very little to prevent anyone from adopting usernames and using trademarks that belong to someone else. They can misdirect traffic from your customers and create confusion. Trademark owner bears the responsibility of monitoring these sites.

  1. Trademark Infringement is Rampant in Social Media-

Bloggers, video posters and chat room participants frequently use trademarks without licenses. These individuals believe they are just chatting and do not realize they are infringing. Enforcement of this is almost impossible because of the sheer volume of infringement and the speed at which the infringement can spread.

  1. Unsolicited Ideas and Brand Damage-

With social media posts in the hands of the consumers, they are impossible to control. The company needs to actively monitor the posts for intellectual property infringement.

  1. No Back Up of Intellectual Property-

Often social media sites have terms and Conditions of Service that allow them to shut down at any time, without notice to the account holder. Failure to back up the company’s posts and blogs may result in a loss of intellectual property.

  1. User Generated Content-

This is material generate by the public and uploaded to a company’s site. This is a very important piece to social media because it creates the interaction between the company and their customers. The company should have posted policies to prevent the submission of material that are copyrighted.

  1. Are Tweets protected by Copyright?-

The answer to this is generally, No. The company needs to decide if it is valuable to them to make their thoughts available to the general public in a format that may not be protected by copyright.

  1. Unauthorized Disclosure of Trade Secrets by Employees-

This is a risk a company takes when they do not have appropriate internal policies in place regarding sharing confidential information or trade secrets through their social media sites.

  1. International Laws govern Social Media-

Users and reach of social media are international. Companies who are looking to protect their trademarks have to try and keep up with monitoring them globally. This is a huge undertaking.

  1. Ownership of the Social Media Account-

Frequently a company will ask an employee to set up and manage their social media site. Who owns the account? Companies should consider clearly addressing the ownership of company social media accounts in agreements with their employees, such as employee proprietary information and invention assignment agreements. Agreements like this should state, in part, that all social media accounts that employees register or manage as part of their job duties or using company resources – including all associated account names and handles, pages, profiles, followers and content – are the property of the company, and that all login information and passwords for such accounts are both the property and the confidential information of the company and must be returned to the company upon termination or at any other time upon the company’s request.

10.  Ownership of the Followers-

If an employee is asked to manage a site they essentially become the “voice” of the company and his or her style and personality may be essential to the success of that site. As a result, the lines between “brand” of the company and the “brand” of the individual may become blurred. And when the company and the individual part ways it can create issues regarding the ownership of the related social media accounts and followers.