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Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report

Category Archives: Workplace Privacy

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“Employees Must Be Permitted To Use Company Email for Statutorily Protected Communications” -NLRB

We reported earlier that the National Labor Relations Board had been considering changing its previous position that  “employees have no statutory right to use the[ir] Employer’s e-mail system for Section 7 purposes.”  The NLRB’s position in this regard was established in 2007, under the NLRB’s ruling in Register Guard.  Today, in Purple Communications Inc. and… Continue Reading

OCR Issues Ebola Guidance on HIPAA Privacy

According to the New York Times, Bellevue Hospital Center patient Craig Spencer, the first New Yorker to be infected with Ebola, is scheduled to be released today. And while the intense reporting about Ebola has subsided, perhaps indicating a lowering of the perceived threat of Ebola spreading further in the U.S. (although many continue to… Continue Reading

Tough Future for Shirking?

The October 25, 2014 issue of the Economist, a U.K. business news periodical, contains a tongue-in- cheek guide to “skiving,” which apparently is the British word for shirking on the job. The piece highlights the challenge and opportunity created by new technology for employees who want to pretend to work, rather than work. It notes:… Continue Reading

On the Heels of FTC, FCC Joins GPEN to Better Watch Data Abroad

Data is rarely still. It is captured, processed and moved around the world at speeds we wouldn’t have dreamed possible 20 years ago. Data often disrespects borders. By way of example, companies often mistakenly store personal data in the cloud to be accessed by multiple international locations, without considering the legal rights of the data… Continue Reading

Ebola Presents Significant Workplace Challenges

We addressed the dangers of “snooping” into patient records by hospital workers spurred by incidents of Ebola and Enterovirus D-86 in the U.S. Of course, the workplace challenges created by Ebola, Enterovirus D-86 and other contagious diseases and illnesses in the workplace go far beyond snooping, and far beyond healthcare employers. Employers in all industries are facing dilemmas in… Continue Reading

Enterovirus D-68 and Ebola Cases Raise Privacy Concerns for Healthcare Providers and their Workers

On September 25, a four-year old boy from New Jersey died of Enterovirus D-68, reports myfoxphilly.com. Increasingly, there are reports about potential Ebola cases in the U.S. Naturally, the spread of infectious disease raises concern for everyone, particularly for healthcare workers who want to do their jobs, and also protect their families. There are already… Continue Reading

Delaware Joins List of States Regulating Data Disposal

On January 1, 2015, Delaware employers who dispose of records which contain the unencrypted personal identifying information of employees must take steps to ensure the privacy of such information.  The bill, H.B. 294, was recently signed by Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell. The new law defines personal identifying information as an employee’s first name or first initial… Continue Reading

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