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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
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When settlement requires confidentiality, tell everyone to keep lips sealed

Settling a case early on can have advantages. One of these is that you can include a confidentiality clause that bars a former employee from talking about the case. Now a Cali­­fornia court has said that such clauses are valid, meaning you can sue a former employee who breaks a confidentiality agreement.

What are the limits on employee monitoring?

Q. How would an employer legally go about monitoring employees in the workplace?

What’s the law on surreptitious audiotaping?

Q. One of the employees in our office has been taping conversations unknown to the people he is taping. Does the employee have a right to do this?

Can we demand employee’s Facebook password so we can access her postings?

Q. Our company received a report that an employee who called in sick on a Thursday and Friday later posted photos to her Facebook page that indicated she was traveling in another city with friends at the time. It appears she lied to us about being sick. Can we require her to give us her Facebook password so that we can see her online postings?

What are the pros and cons of prohibiting workplace photography?

Q. We recently saw a news report that an AOL employee was fired for taking a photograph during a meeting. Now we’re wondering: Should we include anything in our employee handbook prohibiting the taking of photographs or videos at work?

With new regs taking effect, update HIPAA privacy policies ASAP

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued final regulations for implementing the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The regulations require entities covered by HIPAA to update their privacy policies ASAP. The looming deadline: Sept. 23.

Public employers: OK to demand medical records if drug test leads to rehab

Public employees who work in jobs related to public health and safety and who test positive for drugs can’t refuse to sign medical releases related to treatment for drug and alcohol problems.

Can we recover business documents from employee’s personal laptop?

Q. Many of our executives use their personal laptops for business purposes. We don’t have a policy governing this practice. We will be terminating our COO and want to know how we can legally go about transferring or deleting all work-related files from his personal computer.

Court points way toward tracking employees with GPS

A recent New York Court of Appeals case offers guidance to employers that want to slap GPS devices on employees’ cars to monitor their activities.

Is it legally risky to use facial recognition software?

Q. Management wants to install “facial recognition” software that clocks in employees by electronically matching the employee’s face to a database. Leaving aside the Big Brother creepiness, are there any legal land mines we should consider before installing this type of technology?