Can social media help a workers’ compensation defense?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Workers' Compensation Defense |

Social media has become a part of everyday life for many people and companies. People tend to share various aspects of their life without thinking much about what they post. This tendency can result in some unexpected consequences.

Employers may be interested in knowing that they may be able to use social media posts as a part of a defense against workers’ compensation claims. There are various considerations that must be factored into a decision about whether to use these posts or not.

Posts may show the injuries aren’t what the employee claims

One of the primary ways social media can be used in a defense against a workers’ compensation claim is by showing that the injury doesn’t have the impact on the worker’s life that they claim it does. This can be done through posts, photos or videos that show the individual participating in physical activities. If these activities show the person could conceivably do their job duties, it may benefit the defense.

Social media content can also be used to show inconsistencies in an injured employee’s story. This can be as simple as being able to refute claims of emotional distress caused by the injury if social media posts show them laughing and being happy. It’s important to ensure that the context of posts are considered. For example, a post showing a smiling person at a child’s graduation may not necessarily combat an emotional distress claim.

Caution when obtaining social media evidence is critical for employers

Employers should approach this angle with caution, however, as the interpretation of social media content can be subjective. It’s important to consider the overall context of the information and its applicability to the case at hand.

While social media can be a valuable tool for employers defending against workers’ compensation claims, it’s vital to navigate this area of law ethically and in compliance with privacy regulations. Monitoring an employee’s social media should be done transparently and with respect for their privacy. Seeking the assistance of a legal representative may be beneficial to ensure that an employer is acting within the scope of applicable laws as they execute their defense.