Monday, November 23, 2009

Woman Says She Lost Disability Benefits Because of Facebook Pics

If your insurer ain’t havin’ fun, ain’t nobody havin’ fun.

A Canadian woman claims she lost disability benefits because her vacation pictures on Facebook made it look like she was having a good time.

Nathalie Blanchard, an IBM employee in Quebec, had been on long-term sick leave for major depression for about 18 months when she stopped receiving her monthly disability benefits from her employer’s insurance company. She claims the insurer told her that pictures she posted on Facebook (at a Chippendales show, at her birthday party, and enjoying a sunny beach on vacation) showed she wasn’t depressed and was able to work.

Blanchard counters that her doctor recommended she spend time with family and friends; she says she went out with friends and took a short trip with her mom on her psychiatrist’s advice.

The insurance company didn’t comment on this particular case, but issued a statement it “would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on websites such as Facebook.”

According to an article in the USA Today, Blanchard is taking legal action to challenge the insurer's decision.

As this story illustrates, employers aren't the only ones using Web 2.0 to investigate workers.

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