How can I stop my employer from putting my name and picture online?

I have guarded my privacy zealously since before the internet age. Our company has employee pictures and bio info on the company website. I am not interested in having my picture or personal information out on the web. I will ask my potential employer about not having my personal information on the website but are there legal protections for employees declining to have their personal information published in this manner?

Rita Risser replies:

Traditionally, your name, photo and even your home address are not considered private. Presumably in this day of security consciousness, they would not put your home address. If they wanted to put where you were born, went to school, hobbies or community involvement, just tell them you don’t have any or lie. If you object to even having just your name and photo online, you might be able to argue under state common law that it constitutes an endorsement of the company, and there are cases that say a company must get permission before using a person’s endorsement. But the company could argue that by accepting employment, you are giving permission. Probably the best you can hope for is that management grants your wishes out of the goodness of their hearts. Good luck.

Posted 09-13-2016

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Rita M. Risser Chai is the founder of Fair Measures. An attorney in California for 20 years and now an attorney in Hawaii, she authored the Prentice Hall book, Stay Out of Court! The Manager’s Guide to Preventing Employee Lawsuits. She developed most of the curriculum used by Fair Measures, created the firm’s first website praised in HR Magazine, and wrote numerous articles on employment law including one on best practice harassment prevention training published in the magazine of the American Society for Training and Development (now ATD). She taught Law and Human Resources at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for eight years, and has presented four times at the annual conventions of the Hawaii Society of Human Resource Management.