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June 23, 2014 • joedolson

This case may provide an important lesson to employers, a federal court in Indiana allowed an employee’s Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit to move forward based upon a manager’s Facebook post that referenced his medical condition (Shoun v. Best Formed Plastics, Inc.,(3:14-cv-00463-RLM-CAN. USDC of Indiana, 6-23-2014)).

Although the employer argued that it could not be liable because the employee had voluntarily and publicly disclosed his condition in a separate lawsuit filed prior to the post, the court said a question of fact remained as to how the manager acquired her knowledge of the employee’s medical condition. Denying the employer’s motion to dismiss, the court further rejected the argument that the employee failed to allege a tangible injury based on the post, holding that allegations of both emotional injury and that prospective employers refused to hire him were sufficient. If employers don’t already have a social media policy in place addressing the problems with such posts, this case is a good reminder to have such a policy.

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