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Access to Personnel Files: 50 State Laws

No federal law grants employees the right to inspect their personnel files. However, many states do give employees that right and spell out the terms under which employees are allowed to inspect their files. Here’s a state-by-state list of laws governing access to personnel files.

Monitoring: Beware fixating on productivity

Are supervisors asking to install tracking software on their remote employees’ computers and devices? They may be suffering from what Microsoft has termed “productivity paranoia.”

Proposed regs would strengthen HIPAA’s privacy provisions

Proposed regulations issued April 17 by the Department of Health and Human Services would extend the scope of HIPAA’s privacy protections specifically to women who travel to other states to receive reproductive health-care services where those services are legal and would apply to almost all judicial or administrative proceedings related to this care.

NLRB okays secret workplace recordings

Here’s a new worry for employers, thanks to the National Labor Relations Board: Your employees may be secretly recording conversations you have with them for later playback even if you have robust “no recording” rules in place.

Keep it Legal: Tread carefully when monitoring employees

With rapid advances in technology, monitoring the workplace has become easier and cheaper. It’s no longer just cameras in common areas. Now it’s possible to examine productivity measures like keystrokes taken during a shift and out-of-office activity through vehicle location or company-issued cell phones and laptops. But there are definite areas managers should be aware of—and legal implications to keep in mind.

Supreme Court to decide: Which conversations with lawyers are privileged?

For the first time in 40 years, the Supreme Court will hear a case concerning attorney-client privilege. The issue is whether conversations involving matters that are both legal and non-legal are privileged and thus shielded from discovery during litigation.

New year, new laws: Update your compliance!

States have new laws about human trafficking reporting, hair discrimination, family leave, wage transparency, artificial intelligence and surveillance.

Change your passwords—again

’Tis hacking season, but it’s always hacking season now. You can repeat password mantras until you’re blue in the face—don’t use the same ones, change them regularly—but employees will use the same ones and won’t change them regularly, because they’re human. Allow employees to choose their passwords, with clear guidance.

NLRB is watching: Don’t spy on your employees

Concerned by the brave new world of digital supervision, the NLRB issued a memo on Oct. 31 warning employers not to use intrusive or abusive electronic surveillance.

Recruiting scams—watch out!

Employment scams are on the rise. As if vulnerable, unemployed Americans didn’t have enough to worry about these days—inflation at a 40-year high, a looming recession—scammers are taking advantage of the post-pandemic job jitters.