Privacy Law Blog

Tag Archives: workplace

EU Agrees to Set the Floor for Whistleblower Protection Across All Member States

According to a press release issued by the European Commission today, the European Parliament and the Member States have agreed to adopt new rules that set the standard for protecting individuals who blow the whistle on breaches of EU law from dismissal, demotion, and other forms of retaliation. This reform, which was first proposed by … Continue Reading

CNIL Cracks Down on Employee Video Monitoring and Password Strength

In a recent decision (deliberation CNIL May 30, 2013 n°2013-139), the French Data Protection Agency (CNIL) sanctioned a company for implementing a CCTV system without informing employees and because the CCTV enabled the constant monitoring of one employee making the recording disproportionate to the goal pursued.  The CNIL also sanctioned the company because it failed … Continue Reading

Keep An Eye On Those Shiny, New Mobile Devices!

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

No Question about Quon: U.S. Supreme Court Unanimous in Overturning Ninth Circuit

In an important decision for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a case involving an employee's assertion that a government employer had violated the Fourth Amendment by unreasonably obtaining and reviewing personal text messages sent and received on employer-issued pagers. The decision, a victory for employers, provides helpful guidance for management of electronic communication systems and workplace searches. Read this alert to learn more about the decision and how it may affect you. … Continue Reading

New Jersey’s High Court Ruling Reaffirms Employer’s Right To Monitor and Restrict Computer Use

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. … Continue Reading

Cal. Supreme Court Has a Look at Cameras in the Workplace

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. … Continue Reading

“Houston’s, We Have A Privacy Problem . . . .”

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 that … Continue Reading

Court Uses Computer Privacy Law to Crack the Whip on Use of Work Computer to Solicit Dominatrix-Prostitute

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

Ninth Circuit Upholds NLRB Test for Unlawful Employer Surveillance of Union Activities

In a unanimous panel opinion issued on January 28, 2008, the Ninth Circuit upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) newly-announced three-factor test for determining whether employer surveillance activity of potential union members is coercive and therefore in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The case, Local Joint Executive Board of Las Vegas et … Continue Reading
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