My Previous Employer is Using Photos of me on their Current Website, Can They do This?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I have recently found out that my previous employer has been using photos of myself doing job related tasks on their website to attract customers. I no longer work there and have moved on but they still have photos of myself on there website. Are they required to compensate me for the use of these pictures?”

Question: Generally speaking, no one can use your image for advertising purposes without your consent. Some employers will include a waiver of your publicity rights in the documents you sign when you start working for them, but those are not very common. Indeed, even with such a waiver, many employers will still make employees sign a special Model Release document if they are going to be used in a special advertising campaign. If you did not sign such a waiver or release document, you may be able to sue your former employer for a share of any profits earned during the infringing advertising campaign. But to determine whether you have a case, you should contact an attorney in your area. Your local bar association should be able to refer you to an appropriate attorney. (Sometimes you can receive a discount on the initial consultation when you use the bar association’s referral service, so ask about that.)