Social Media and the Employment Relationship

The Adelaide Law School’s Public Law and Policy Research Unit and the Work and Employment Regulation Research Group invite you to a comparative law seminar in which three leading scholars examine an important and topical set of issues:

Social Media and the Employment Relationship
Legal Perspectives from Germany and Australia

The importance of the World Wide Web is constantly increasing not only for business purposes but also for everyday life. Facebook, twitter, YouTube, blogs etc are truly types of mass media that enable people to display themselves and their private lives publicly in ways unheard of in former times. Once information has been published, it is often close to impossible to withdraw and may affect the publisher even years later. Particularly critical problems may arise in the context of employment relationships, for example, where an applicant does not get the job because the employer does not like what can be found online.

Professor Melissa De Zwart will provide a brief overview of unique legal problems arising in relation to social media. Subsequently, Professor Philipp Fischinger will explain the legal situation of social media and the employment relationship under German law, covering the constitutional dimension, employment law and data protection law. Dr Joanna Howe will provide a comment from an Australian perspective. The event will be chaired by Professor Andrew Stewart.

When: 26 March 2015, 5.15-7pm
Where: Moot Court, Ligertwood Building, The University of Adelaide

Professor Dr Philipp S Fischinger has a Master of Laws from Harvard and holds the Chair for Civil Law, Labor Law, Commercial and Economic Law at the University of Mannheim, Germany. He has published numerous books and articles on various aspects of German law, though his main focus is on employment and labour law.
Professor Melissa de Zwart is an expert in laws affecting the digital environment. She has researched and taught in the areas of intellectual property, internet law and regulation, social media, technology transfer, media law and content regulation for many years. Melissa has also consulted to APEC, OECD, ENISA and the UK Government on issues regarding electronic commerce capacity building, online privacy and security, online content and virtual communities, as well as serving on the Australian Government’s Classification Review Board. Melissa has numerous publications on copyright, online content, surveillance, privacy, Big Data, internet governance, whistleblowing, social networking, internet governance and regulation, all focusing on the impact of technology on the law.
Dr Joanna Howe is a Senior Lecturer at the Adelaide Law School and a consultant with Harmers Workplace Lawyers. Joanna has also worked as a consultant for the International Labour Organisation in Geneva and for the Equal Opportunities for Women in the Workplace Agency. Joanna is the holder of a prestigious grant from the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Spain to convene a workshop on temporary labour migration bringing together international experts in 2015. Joanna is also a chief-investigator on an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, ‘Work Experience: Labour Law at the Boundary of Work and Education’. Joanna is regularly invited to present evidence to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee and to advise government departments and reviews on Australia’s temporary migration programme. She is also the co-editor of the Work and Employment Column in the Australian Journal of Administrative Law and writes regularly for major media outlets. She is the author of two books – 'The Australian Standard of Employment Rights' (2009, Hardie Grant) and ‘Rethinking Job Security’ (2015-forthcoming, Ashgate Publishing) and numerous journal articles and book chapters.

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