Can a former employer use my picture without my permission?

Asked on November 19, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, your ex-employer cannot use your picture without your permission. That is unless at some point you signed an agreement consenting that it could use your likeness (in such case you may have lost control as to the use of your own likeness).
You could ask them to stop and, if they don't, you could bring a legal action in  court and obtain "injunctive relief" which would require them to stop using your picture.
However, if you are looking for some form of compensation, you probably won't be able to receive any. Assuming that you are a "private" person (i.e. not a celebrity or public figure) you probably have a claim for commercial use of your image. However, compensation for in such a case is based on damages (e.g. how much they made by using your image or how much you'd normally be paid for the right to use your image). And for a non-celebrity, there really may be little or no money at stake, making recovery effectively impossible.

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