A recent survey conducted by the Employment Law Alliance reported that while millions of workers – about 5 percent of the American workforce – are maintaining online personal diaries, only about 15 percent of employers have specific policies addressing work-related blogging.

“Work-related blogging was once thought to be benign, but it is now one of the hottest, and most complex and far-ranging issues in the workplace,” said Stephen J. Hirschfeld, the CEO of the alliance and a partner in the California-based labor and employment firm of Curiale, Dellaverson, Hirschfeld & Kraemer LLP.

At issue is the potential for damaging information about the company to be made public, either purposefully or accidentally, through worker blogs, notably including the company’s safety practices. “There is intense debate over blogs, but no debate over the need to have clear blogging policies,” said Hirschfeld.