In an EEOC sexual harassment suit against HoneyBaked Ham, Co., a district court judge has ruled that the plaintiffs must turn over their cellphones and social media passwords to a court-appointed forensic expert. This expert is charged with going through text messages and social media content to determine what is relevant -- and thus discoverable -- in the case. The defendant alleges such content includes highly relevant information on the lead plaintiff, such as her thoughts on how much money she is expecting from the suit, her self-described sexual aggressiveness, insights into her emotional state, and a picture of her wearing a shirt with a word the suit claims was offensively used against her.
Elsewhere around the country, a number of employees have been put on unpaid leave for inappropriate social media posts. In Kansas, a court research attorney was suspended for tweeting disparaging remarks about former Attorney General, Phill Kline, during his ethics hearing. In Massachusetts, a woman is facing a firestorm -- in addition to suspension -- for a Facebook picture she posted while on a work trip to Arlington National Cemetery. The picture is of her at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, standing next to a "Silence and Respect" sign, sticking up her middle finger and pretending to yell. While she claims she "meant no disrespect," over 20,000 people on Facebook have banned together to try to get her fired. Just one more reason to think twice before "expressing yourself" on Facebook (or Twitter, LinkedIn, Myspace, or any other social media site).