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Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report

Category Archives: Workplace Privacy

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HIPAA Reminders – Business Associate Agreement Deadline and Continuation of OCR Audits

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a great group at the Connecticut Assisted Living Association (CALA) about HIPAA and a range of related practical issues. Many covered entities and business associates, particularly those that are small businesses, continue to work on understanding the privacy and security standards, and how to best apply them in their… Continue Reading

A Broadened Crackdown on EU/U.S. Safe Harbor Violations

In the wake of the Edward Snowden’s intelligence leaks and increasing concerns about the use of personal information, the Center for Digital Democracy recently filed a Fair Trade Commission complaint alleging that 30 US Databrokers and data management firms had violated the European Union’s Privacy Directive Safe Harbor framework.  According to the CDD, the collection… Continue Reading

Key Considerations When Monitoring Employees Using GPS Tracking Devices

With the proliferation of wage and hour litigation, especially in Florida which has the highest number of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) cases filed annually nationwide, employers have sought for better ways to track employee work time in anticipation of defending against unpaid overtime claims. Additionally, employers have used monitoring devices in hopes of increasing… 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

Oklahoma Joins Growing Number of States Limiting Employer Access To Personal Social Media Accounts

Add Oklahoma to the list of states prohibiting employers from requesting or demanding access to the personal social media accounts of employees or applicants. Signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin, H.B. 2372 becomes effective November 1, 2014. In addition to being prohibited from requesting or demanding usernames or passwords from employees or applicants to their… Continue Reading

Baltimore, MD Joins “Ban The Box” Movement

Baltimore, MD has joined the growing list of cities and states around the country implementing “ban the box” legislation.  “Ban the box” legislation restricts inquiries regarding an applicant’s criminal history on applications for employment and during job interviews.  The EEOC recommends “banning the box” believing the use of conviction records excludes applicants and can disparately impact… Continue Reading

Volunteer State (Tennessee) Prohibits Employers From Asking Employees, Applicants to Volunteer Access to Social Media, Internet Accounts

Effective January 1, 2015, Tennessee employers, including government entities, will be prohibited from requesting or requiring access to the private social networking or online accounts of employees and job applicants under the Volunteer State’s ”Employee Online Privacy Act of 2014,” signed by Governor Bill Haslam. Our Tennessee colleagues outline the key provisions of the law, including some of… Continue Reading

Employers, the NLRB Wants Some Control Over Your Company Email

You’ve just finished your email, electronic communications, social media and/or BYOD policies for employees assuming, among other things, that you did not have to permit employees to use company-provided communication systems for nonwork-related purposes, such as to fulfill certain union-related purposes or other “protected concerted activities” under for Section 7 of the National Labor Relations… Continue Reading

Fulbright’s Litigation Survey Addresses Privacy in the Age of Social Media and Mobile Devices

Norton Rose Fulbright recently released the results of their 9th annual litigation trends survey.  The Fulbright survey reflects information collected from 392 in-house attorneys; including 82% identifying themselves as general counsel and 14% as head of litigation. Additionally, the companies responding to the survey represent virtually all industries, include entities of all sizes, and are almost evenly split… Continue Reading

Facebook Post Breaches Confidentiality Provision of Settlement Agreement

A Florida appellate court has ruled that a teenaged daughter’s post on Facebook mentioning her father’s confidential settlement of an age discrimination claim breached a confidentiality provision in the settlement agreement, barring the father from collecting an $80,000 settlement. Gulliver Schools, Inc. v. Snay, No. 3D13-1952 (Fla 3d DCA Feb. 26, 2014). The plaintiff, Patrick Snay,… Continue Reading

New HIPAA Guidance Concerning Mental Health Records

Healthcare providers and their business associates frequently face difficult questions relating to when they are able to share protected health information with the family members and friends of the patients they serve. These questions often require consideration of a number of different laws and rules, such as HIPAA, Federal alcohol and drug abuse confidentiality regulations, state mental… Continue Reading

Court Denies Access To Employee Social Media Accounts

Written by Ian A. Wright 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… Continue Reading

Employee Criminally Prosecuted For Taking Employer’s Documents

A New Jersey Appellate Court recently ruled that an employee who removes or copies her employer’s documents for use in her whistleblower or discrimination case may be prosecuted criminally for stealing.  In State v. Saavedra, the employee had taken highly confidential original documents owned by her employer, contending that she did so to support her employment… Continue Reading

Top 14 for 2014

In honor of National Data Privacy Day, we provide the following “Top 14 for 2014.”  While the list is by no means exhaustive, it does provide critical areas businesses will need to consider in 2014. Location Based Tracking.  As the utilization of GPS enable devices becomes more and more prevalent, employers are often faced with… Continue Reading

Nursing Facility Settles Alleged GINA Violations with EEOC for $370K

As one nursing facility in New York has learned, asking employees or applicants about their family medical history can violate the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) and draw the ire of the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Founders Pavilion, Inc., a former Corning, N.Y. nursing and rehabilitation center, will pay $370,000 to settle discrimination… Continue Reading