If my former employer used my name and likenessand gave me credit for an article that I didn’t write, have they violated the law?

My former employer published an article today in a trade publication. I did not write the article, yet they gave me a byline and used my photograph to indicate the article was written by me. I did not write the article and no longer wish to be associated with the company. Have they violated the law? While I’m not famous, I am a well known and respected writer within my industry.

Asked on June 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they have violated the law; every person has the right to control the use of his/her own identify and likeness, at least to the exent he or she has not given that right (such as by a contract) to another or otherwise permitted the other to use them. If the former employer is using your name and likeness without your permission, you could sue them for a court order directing them to stop; and you may be entitled to monetary compensation, too, based on the value of your name for this purpose. It may be worthwhile to consult with an attorney about your possible recourse.


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