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What should we do? Employee almost divulged insider-trading information on Facebook

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in HR Management,Human Resources

Q. We recently learned that one of our employees posted comments on a friend’s Facebook page, coming to our company’s defense over a recent drop in stock price. The employee came dangerously close to disclosing information about earnings that were not yet public. What can and should we do?

A. Presumably, you have a policy on insider trading. You should make sure that you follow its provisions regarding this type of disclosure. If the employee actually disclosed insider information not intended to be available to the public, you would need to make a public disclosure of that information.

If you do not have a policy that addresses confidential information and social media, you should prepare one. Specifically prohibit employees from discussing or disclosing confidential information about the company on social media (or otherwise).

Finally, you should counsel the employee (and document the counseling) about the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of information, particularly when it relates to insider information that could expose the company to insider-trading allegations.

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