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

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“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?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

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.)

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Author: Ray Everett-Church, Esq.

Ray Everett-Church is a privacy and security consultant with PrivacyClue LLC and is co-author of "Internet Privacy for Dummies"

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