Risks Faced By Employees Who Post Anonymous Bad Reviews

The employees of a digital agency had a different idea to advertise the company’s brand. They posted King Kong advertising review in review sites to inform potential applicants of the reasonable benefits they receive including the support of the management. Aside from encouraging potential applicants, the digital agency generates awareness for the brand.

When a customer wants to complain about a salty risotto, he shares the grievance through Yelp. If job seeker wants to obtain information about a company’s management practices, morale and salary ranges, he goes to Glassdoor.

Popular online job sites were launched to allow current and former employees to anonymously share their work experiences about work life balance, office snacks and why they left the company. However, there are instances when the anonymous review of an employer is considered personally objectionable and legally actionable.

HuffPost asked legal experts about the risks faced by an employee when posting anonymously about the employer including constitutional protections available. According to Aaron Mackey, staff attorney of Electronic Frontier Foundation, an employer can be upset by bad reviews from former employees that he becomes seriously motivated to initiate litigation. EFF filed briefs involving Glassdoor to unmask anonymous users.

Many employers have started legal action to send a message to employees that they will not tolerate anonymous bad reviews. The way that an employee tells a story about his workplace experience spells the difference on whether he can be sued successfully. In defamation claims, courts will determine whether the opinion can be proven as true or false. One of the key elements that establish defamation is a false statement of fact.

If an employee posts a review that a CEO used illegal drugs during a work party, it cannot be characterized as an opinion. It more likely to be considered an opinion if the review says that “It seems that that there is a lot of drug use in the company.”

Honest anonymous reviews are very valuable to an employer. For example King Kong advertising review includes truthful statements about the workplace and the management. Job seekers read reviews before they decide because it gives them an idea of a potential employer.

 

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