Archives: Workplace Investigations

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Peer Review Confidentiality Requirement Protects Physician Reviewers from Adverse Employment Action, New Mexico Supreme Court Rules

When a physician participated in the peer review of another physician and his conduct during the review became the basis for adverse employment action against him, the New Mexico Supreme Court, in Yedidag v. Roswell Clinic Corp., ruled that the reviewing physician had a private cause of action against his employer, and affirmed the jury’s verdict … Continue Reading

Secretary in Germany Successfully Challenges Employer’s Monitoring…Is Your Monitoring Program Defensible?

According to a report by Deutsche Welle, the German Federal Labor Court held that employers may monitor employees only when they have concrete suspicions of wrongdoing that are based on fact. In the U.S., the standards for engaging in monitoring employees may not be quite that high, but employers should be thinking about whether a … Continue Reading

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act No Help to Employer Suing Employee Who Took Proprietary Business Info

An employer had no cause of action under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) against an employee who accessed its computer systems to misappropriate confidential and proprietary business information to start a competing business, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has held. Cranel Inc. v. Pro Image Consultants Group, LLC, … Continue Reading

Big Data in the Workplace, EEOC Attorney Urges Caution

You may have been reading about how “Big Data” technologies are being used for a variety of purposes, such as making purchase suggestions based on prior buying patterns or staging law enforcement resources based on predictions for where and when crimes are likely to occur. But these technologies also are being used in the human resources context, … Continue Reading

Companies Need to be Better Prepared to Respond to Problematic Social Media Activity, Including Facebook “Likes”

The National Labor Relations Board has found that another employer (a non-union employer) violated its employees’ protected concerted activity rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it disciplined and fired them for certain social media activity. Our Labor Group provides an extensive analysis of this decision in Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, 361 NLRB No. 31 … Continue Reading

Missouri Constitutional Amendment Protects Electronic Privacy

On August 5, 2014, Missouri voters approved Amendment 9 to the Missouri Constitution making Missouri the first state in the nation to offer explicit constitutional protection to electronic communications and data from unreasonable serches and seizures. The official ballot title asked:  “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decision in Riley Affects Cellphone Searches in Civil Litigation, Employment Matters

When the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision Riley v. California, a Fourth Amendment criminal case, we suspected it would not be long before the rationale in that case concerning the privacy interests individuals have in cellphones would be more broadly applied. In late June, a federal district court in Connecticut denied a request  by two … Continue Reading

The K5 Autonomous Data Machine Might Soon Be Securing and Monitoring Your Business

Developed by Knightscope, the K5 Autonomous Data Machine is a 5 foot tall, 300 pound robotic device designed to be “a safety and security tool for corporations, as well as for schools and neighborhoods,” as reported by the New York Times. While K5 may not yet be ready for prime time, its developers are hoping to lure early adopters … Continue Reading

Use of HIPAA-Protected Personal Health Information by Employer Investigating FMLA Issue Not Barred

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the appeal of a former City of Daytona Beach Fire Inspector who argued that the City improperly used her “personal health information” to defend itself against her lawsuit for interference under the Family Medical Leave Act. In Bailey v. City of Daytona Beach Shores, the City of … Continue Reading

Court Denies Access To Employee Social Media Accounts

If the intersection of social networking and workplace privacy laws piques your attention, you may find an article written by my colleague Michael Frankel particularly interesting. He writes about a recent case, Pecile v. Titan Capital Group, LLC out of New York, where the court refused to grant the defendants’ request for access to the plaintiffs’ … Continue Reading

Florida’s New “Sexting” Law Makes it Criminal for Minors to Transmit Sexually Explicit Materials Electronically

Florida has joined 20 other states have enacted legislation addressing teen sexting. Because employees frequently transmit these materials using their employer's networks, retail, entertainment, hospitality and other industries that traditionally employ large numbers of younger workers may soon get dragged into criminal proceedings because of "sexting" by their younger workers.… Continue Reading

Deleting E-mails Can Constitute a “Damage” Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

What is a company’s recourse when a former employee deletes e-mails and other company electronic information before he leaves? A case from Indiana provides a lesson. When Meridian Financial Advisors began serving as Receiver for bankrupted OCMC, Inc., it took possession of a number of OCMC computers, including one belonging to Joseph A. Pence, OCMC’s President … Continue Reading

Pretexting and the Need for Employers to Investigate Their Investigators

As reported by Ameet Sachdev, of the Chicago Tribune, a jury found an employer responsible for the actions of its investigators who obtained a former employee’s phone records through “pretexting.” Of the $1.8 million awarded to the former employee for breaches of her privacy, the jury awarded $1.75 million in punitive damages. Regardless of whether … Continue Reading
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