Social networks & workplace investigations: Don't miss the smoking gun

Posted on 11-10-2015 by
Tags: social media , Labor Law , Trending News & Topics , Employment Law

In this day and age if there is ever a workplace investigation, one of the first places that should be check are social networks. According to LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom, social media played a big part in a recent workplace discrimination lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by Brandon Waters, a former employee of a Steak N’ Shake in Aurora, Ohio. Waters, who is biracial, was born with a viral infection that affects his motor and speech skills. The incidents cited two individuals, former co-worker Timothy Schoeffler and the former manager at the restaurant Nick Karl. The suit claimed the following:

  • Waters was called racial slurs at the store and on Twitter


  • Karl and Schoeffler referred to him by the nickname “Radio,” referencing the 2003 Cuba Gooding Jr. film where he plays a mentally disabled student.

  • Karl is also created a “Radio” name tag that Waters refused to wear.


  • Schoeffler also dumped a milkshake on Waters’ head in front of Karl, who laughed, the lawsuit states. The two then discussed the incident on Twitter.

The key to this case was that the two people accused went on social media and further discussed the incidents. Ultimately this lapse of judgment on their part allowed investigators to find the smoking gun .

How important is it for employers to check social media accounts for workplace investigations? Let us know below.


Posted on : 4 Apr 2016 3:47 AM

I think it is disturbing to think that employers are looking over our shoulders and monitoring our personal, social media accounts.

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