Glassdoor beats lawsuit over negative reviews
- A federal district court has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that Glassdoor, by failing to take down reviews at an employer's request, violated trade secrets law, state law and engaged in civil conspiracy.
- According to court documents, someone identifying himself as an employee of Craft Beer Stellar posted a negative review about one of its stores. Over the next few months, one or more unnamed users continued to post negative reviews, mentioning the co-founder by name. She sent an e-mail to Glassdoor asking it "for . . . assistance in reviewing . . . six inappropriate/trolled reviews naming Craft Beer Cellar and myself." The following day, a Glassdoor representative responded and informed her that the company had removed one of the six reviews for its failure to meet Glassdoor guidelines. A week later, the removed review was largely re-posted but Glassdoor declined to remove it because it no longer violated the website's guidelines.
- The employer sued and Glassdoor moved to have the suit dismissed. The court granted the request, noting that Glassdoor did not not create the negative review, and that intellectual property and trade secrets laws were not violated.
Negative online reviews have become a significant issue for businesses, and with a recent acquisition, it seems there's no sign of this trend stopping.
A September survey from Monster found that, in a five-star rating system, most respondents (38%) would apply only to companies with at least a three-star rating, and that nearly one-third would never apply to an employer with negative employee reviews.
Employers have taken notice, with many working to cultivate and maintain a positive brand and online presence. Respondents to a recent Randstad survey overwhelmingly believed, at 90%, that employer brand is extremely or very important in attracting talent.
In light of the Craft Beer Stellar lawsuit and these findings, businesses may need to be more vigilant about their online presences. From improved candidate experiences to thoughtful damage control, employers can work to take a more proactive approach to branding and online reviews.
Follow Riia O'Donnell on Twitter