PRIVACY

Personal data on business systems: The high cost of curiosity

08/19/2015
The intermingling of personal and business computing is creating traps for employers. What are you allowed to see, alter, delete ... and take?

Listening to customer calls: Do we have to notify?

08/13/2015
Q. We plan to start having supervisors listen in on trainees’ phone conversations with customers. Do we have to inform the caller that we’re listening? We think the “this call may be recorded” message makes the call less authentic?

Can we circulate staff cell numbers and addresses?

08/13/2015
Q. We created an employee directory in Outlook that contains employee home numbers, cell numbers and addresses. It’s for internal use only. An employee complained. Is there any legal issue with us posting this information? Do we need to get permission from employees?

When can we search employees' lockers?

07/29/2015
Q. An alarming amount of cash and inventory has gone missing from my retail store. I have also smelled odor of illegal drugs in the store. Am I authorized to search employees’ lockers for cash, inventory and drugs?

When a worker's pace slows, can we ask if it's health-related?

07/24/2015
Q. We have an experienced employee who is not working at an acceptable pace. We need to address his speed, but we’re concerned he may have medical issues. Can we ask him about his health? — Anonymous, Illinois

When the $#@& hits the GINA fan ...

07/08/2015
You may have heard about homeowners’ associations and towns demanding DNA tests when a pooch does his business on someone else’s lawn or in a public park. That’s fine for canines and their owners. But when an employer tried the same thing, the law intervened.

Workers: Don't monitor me!

06/23/2015
More than half of working people polled don’t want their bosses snooping on them. Asked how important they considered not being monitored at work, here's what respondents said.

Wearables at work: Big data or Big Brother?

06/18/2015
The ability to acquire biometric data is growing all the time, and yes, it will create employment law problems.

24/7 monitoring on company cellphone prompts lawsuit

05/18/2015
A California sales executive is suing her employer after she was fired for disabling an app on her company-provided iPhone that tracked her whereabouts even during nonwork hours.

How can we structure a policy that lets us search employees' belongings?

05/04/2015
Q. I am worried that some of my employees are storing illicit or illegal items at work. Is there a way for me to legally search their belongings?

Remind supervisors: What you say in emails can and will be used against you in court!

02/02/2015
If an employer is sued for discrimination, harassment or retaliation, chances are all emails related to the employee will be shared with the em­­ployee’s attorneys. Anything said in those emails can then be used against you to prove discrimination—or that you tried to set up the employee for discharge because she filed a discrimination complaint.

Protect against data breach, cyber attack

01/26/2015

In December, Sony Pictures became the latest high-profile business victim of data theft. In addition to the threats of violence related to the re­­­­lease of its feature film, “The Inter­­view,” the company faces several federal class action lawsuits by employees claiming that their private information had been impermissibly disclosed online. In the wake of this crisis, employers should consider the following issues

NLRB narrows employer limitations on workplace communications

01/21/2015
A recent ruling may force employers to change their policies restricting private emails.

Technological change drives three new NLRB decisions

01/14/2015
The National Labor Relations Board has issued three far-reaching decisions that change long-standing practices under the National Labor Relations Act. All reflect a disquieting connection between modern communications and old-fashioned labor relations.
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