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Privacy

Should we publicly post vacation schedules?

05/26/2010
Q. We post employees’ vacation schedules in the employee lunchroom. Occasionally, outside visitors or customers visit the lunchroom, too. Some employees have complained about this posting policy, saying it borders on invasion of privacy. Are they right,  from a legal standpoint, and should we stop doing this?

7 elements of a social media policy that limits your liability

05/26/2010

Online social networking sites provide a variety of benefits to organizations. They can help you collect industry-based knowledge, reach new customers, build your brand and publicize your company’s name and reputation. But those benefits come with their fair share of legal risks. You need a comprehensive social media policy to guide employees on your expectations about their online behavior.

New technologies, old problems: Social media in the workplace

05/18/2010

Social media is on the rise, creating many questions for employers. Should we use social media to develop business or recruit new talent? Should we let employees use Facebook and Twitter at work? What restrictions do we need? Can we monitor off-duty conduct? And what are the potential liabilities?

E-Mail and Internet Usage: Legal Risks & Sample Policy

05/11/2010

Employers have any number of legitimate reasons to monitor employees’ e-mail and Internet usage. Beyond personal productivity issues, you risk significant loss should an employee download a virus or other damaging software or engage in illegal activity conducted on company computers. Here’s a discussion of the risks, plus a sample policy …

Can we use personal e-mails we discovered to defend against former employee’s lawsuit?

05/11/2010
Q. After a recently terminated employee sued our company for discrimination, we undertook a forensic examination of her work-issued laptop. We found, saved in the cache of the web browser, e-mails she sent to her attorney from her web-based, personal and private e-mail account. Can we use these e-mails in the lawsuit?

When competition might come from within, keep employees honest

05/11/2010
It’s a situation that happens more often than you might think: An employer finds out that one of its employees is preparing to leave and set up her own shop. But is the employer handcuffed, unable to do anything about the upstart competitor because this employee didn’t sign a noncompetition agreement?

N.J. Supreme Court backs e-mail privacy on company PCs

04/28/2010
The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy when she accesses and uses a web-based e-mail account on company computer equipment, but doesn’t save her password on the computer.

Supreme Court hears arguments: Are employees’ personal text messages private?

04/20/2010

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday heard oral arguments in a case that could settle the contentious issue of whether employers have a right to read personal text messages employees send using employer-provided equipment and bandwidth. Based on the Justices’ questions, it doesn’t sound good for the cop who sent racy texts to his wife — and his girlfriend.

AK Steel sues former employees for stealing trade secrets

04/05/2010
West Chester-based AK Steel has filed suit against three former employees in Butler County Court, alleging that they stole company secrets when they went to work for a competitor.

Lowe’s to offer free employee health screening

04/05/2010
Home-improvement giant Lowe’s is offering free health screening to its employees. It also recently announced that it will fully cover heart surgery costs at the Cleveland Clinic for any Lowe’s employee (or family member) from anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.