Pocket Parts

The question of whether utilities may demand that employees and job applicants turn over their social media passwords has been definitively answered, at least in Maryland. Thanks to the efforts of the ACLU, Facebook and my esteemed colleague and respected social media attorney, Bradley Shear, the Maryland legislature passed a law prohibiting employers from requiring [...]

{ 0 comments }

A new practice has emerged since my article on Social Media for Utilities was published in January 2011: requiring job seekers to provide their prospective employers with the password to their Facebook accounts. According to this article, several cities and law enforcement agencies asked applicants to supply passwords to their social networking sites or agree [...]

{ 0 comments }

My article, Legal Issues & Best Practices for Utilities Engaging in Social Media discussed issues related to discoverability of social media in litigation – for example, whether an employer could discover an employee’s social media information if accessed from a work machine. The law on this topic continues to evolve, and helpfully, Kroll Discoveryrounds up [...]

{ 0 comments }

In my law journal article, Legal Issues and Best Practices for Utilities Engaging Social Media (p. 23), I discussed whether a company’s contacts on LinkedIn are subject to protection as trade secrets when an employee departs the company. As I described, at least one New York court said no, holding that whereas databases may have [...]

{ 0 comments }

During my presentation last month at an National Regulatory Research Institute Teleseminar on Social Media in the Utility Industry, I was excited at the level of interest in social media displayed by staff from the regulatory commissions participating in the call. Participants expressed interest in both the nuts-and-bolts of implementation (such as whether to use [...]

{ 0 comments }

Because most utility employees routinely perform tasks or make decisions that may impact public welfare and safety, utility companies have a strong interest in an employees’ background and whether any of their previous conduct might suggest that they lack the necessary judgment or discretion for the position. Thus, as I described in my article, Legal [...]

{ 0 comments }

Rate Recovery (32 Energy LG at 34-35) – My social media article discussed general ratemaking principles which prohibit recovery of costs used for marketing initiatives that enhance the utility’s brand since these benefits inure to shareholders rather than ratepayers. Although the article gave examples of disallowed costs for traditional marketing, at the time, there were [...]

{ 0 comments }

I’m not even sure how many of you remember, or even know what a pocket part is – but these updates are intend to serve as an electronic version. Back in January 2011, I published this article, The Power of Social Media: Legal Issues and Best Practices for Utilities Engaging Social Media, which is an [...]

{ 0 comments }