Colorado on May 12, 2013 and Washington on May 21, 2013 joined the likes of California, Maryland, Utah and New Mexico by prohibiting employers from requesting that prospective and current employees disclose their username and password to their personal social media accounts. Our Labor & Employment group discussed the Colorado law here and the Washington… Continue Reading
As a growing number of states pass legislation which will protect individuals’ social media accounts from employer scrutiny, they have encountered a surprising adversary – FINRA and other securities regulators. To date, at least six states have enacted social media employee privacy laws (which were blogged about here, here, here, and here) and upwards of… Continue Reading
On April 5, 2013, New Mexico joined six other states (including, among others, Utah, Maryland and California) in passing a new law prohibiting employers from requesting or requiring that a prospective employee provide access to his or her social networking accounts. Proskauer’s Labor & Employment group has discussed the new law here.
Following a growing trend among states, on March 26, 2013, the Utah legislature passed the Internet Employment Privacy Act, which prohibits employers from requesting that job applicants or employees disclose passwords protecting their personal internet accounts. Proskauer’s Labor & Employment group has discussed the new law here.
For the second year in a row, Proskauer has conducted a global survey, “Social Media in the Workplace Around the World 2.0”, which addresses the use of social media in the work place. In 2012, Proskauer surveyed multinational businesses in 19 different countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong-Kong, India, Ireland,… Continue Reading
As physicians, nurses, therapists and health care providers continue to utilize new smart phones, tablets, and laptops in caring for patients, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has responded with educational videos, worksheets and guidance to help health care providers create a “culture of compliance and awareness” and to protect patients’ Protected Health… Continue Reading
As health care providers, patients, family members, friends, and disaster relief agencies such as the American Red Cross continue to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy it is important to be mindful of privacy regulations and to prepare in advance for the next emergency. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”… Continue Reading
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new law protecting employee use of social media by prohibiting an employer from requiring or requesting an employee or applicant for employment to disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing the employee’s personal social media.
The French Data Protection Authority (“CNIL”) has recently issued its activity report for 2011 (http://www.cnil.fr/fileadmin/documents/en/Cnil-RA2011-EN/index.html.) It provides us with some interesting data and allows us to reflect on the ever-growing importance of privacy and data protection in France. Video-surveillance, the right to be forgotten on the Internet, data breaches and abusive data collection by companies… Continue Reading
Earlier this year in United States v. Jones, the United State Supreme Court addressed the privacy implications of Global Positioning Systems (“GPS”), holding that placing a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s car was a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. Though a growing number of employers are using GPS systems to track employee activity on the… Continue Reading
Maryland became the first state to pass legislation that prohibits employers from asking employees and job applicants for their social media passwords.
On January 19, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the federal government has broad latitude to conduct background checks on contractors who work at government facilities. Assuming, without deciding, that two parts of a standard government employment background investigation implicated a constitutional privacy interest, the Court held that the government is permitted to ask reasonable employment-related questions that further the government’s interests in managing its internal operations, particularly where the results of such investigations are adequately protected from public disclosure.
Illinois recently enacted legislation that broadly restricts a private employer from using credit reports regarding job applicants or current employees.
In a continuation of the Stengart v. Loving Care Agency case we wrote about in August 2009, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on March 30, 2010 that emails sent by an employee from a company laptop via a web-based email account (Yahoo!) to her attorney were protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege. In reaching this conclusion, the Court also ruled and provided insight on a far broader and more practical issue for employers — namely, how to draft enforceable computer usage policies and/or make existing policies more effective.
There is an inherent tension between an employee’s right to privacy and an employer’s right — and obligation — to maintain a safe, productive, and hostility free environment at the office.
Lately we’ve been writing a lot about employers, and their ability to read their employees’ e-mails. From New Jersey, to Idaho, to France, this is a hot topic and we are following new developments in this area closely.
In August, we wrote about the ruling of a New Jersey appellate court in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., in which the court took a very narrow view of the ability of employers to monitor the e-mail communications of employees over its computer networks. In that case, which is now on appeal to the… Continue Reading
In Hernandez v. Hillsides, Inc., S147552 (Aug. 3, 2009), the California Supreme Court unanimously held that the mere placement of a hidden video camera in an employee’s office could constitute an invasion of privacy, even if the camera was never actually used to record the employee. Under the specific facts of the case, however, the Court ultimately found no liability because the intrusion was relatively minor, limited and justified, but California employers should be aware that the use of hidden surveillance cameras without notice or warning in “semi-private” office space is likely to produce an actionable claim for invasion of privacy in many cases.
In January 2009, we reported on the postponement of a controversial federal regulation resulting from a legal challenge filed by Proskauer Rose on behalf of several trade organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The rule, the result of an executive order signed by then-President George W. Bush, requires most federal contractors and subcontractors to verify… Continue Reading
On June 16, 2009, in Pietrylo v. Hillstone Restaurant Group, USDC D.N.J. Case No. 2:06-cv-5754-FSH-PS, a New Jersey federal jury found that the Houston’s restaurant chain violated the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act (NJWESCA) by allegedly requiring an employee to surrender to Houston’s managers login information… Continue Reading
The Ohio Court of Appeals, in State v. Wolf, No. 08-16, slip op. (Ohio Ct. App. 5d April 28, 2009), recently upheld application of Ohio’s computer crime law to an employee who used his work computer to engage in criminal conduct (solicitation of a dominatrix-prostitute). While this holding may seem uncontroversial, another aspect of the decision… Continue Reading
Today is Data Privacy Day and we bring you a special post regarding E-Verify from guest contributors Lawrence Lorber, Malcolm Harkins, and James Segroves, of Proskauer’s DC office, and David Grunblatt of Proskauer’s Newark office. Enforcement of a controversial federal regulation that raised significant privacy concerns has been postponed once again as the result of a legal challenge filed by Proskauer on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and four other trade associations. See Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. v. Napolitano, Civil Action No. AW-08-3444 (D. Md.). The regulation in question would have required most government contractors and subcontractors to participate in E-Verify, an Internet-based system that allows employers to verify that individuals are eligible to work in the United States using an employee’s Social Security Number and other personal information. Pursuant to a January 27, 2009 agreement between the parties, enforcement of the regulation has been postponed until May 21, 2009, in order to give the recently inaugurated Administration of President Barack Obama an opportunity to review the regulation. A notice to this effect is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on January 30, 2009.