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Bosses, staff atwitter about social networking sites


Bosses and employees have very different views of employee privacy when it comes to posting on social networking sites, according to a recent Deloitte survey. Sixty percent of executives responding to the survey said they have a right to know how employees portray their companies online, but 53% of workers said their off-duty posts are none of their employers’ business.

Are employees twittering the day away?


Whether they’re shooting off their own “tweets” or following others, workers using Twitter—the fastest-growing social networking site—are creating liability and PR risks with their 140-character rants, raves and company gossip. Advice: Draft a brief policy on  your organization’s expectations for employee’s use of Twitter and other social networking sites (plus video).

Are noncompete agreements legitimate in Texas?


Q. Can noncompetition agreements be enforced against at-will employees in Texas?

Curiosity about co-worker’s accommodation not harassment


Even though employers must maintain confidentiality when a disabled employee receives ADA accommodations, other employees are bound to notice. For example, they might ask how the employee got a good schedule or even if she has a disability. That doesn’t amount to disability harassment.

Firing suspected thief? Don’t broadcast the reason


Employee theft is a huge problem, and employers are sometimes tempted to make an example of a thief. They hope to discourage other employees from stealing. It’s a bad idea, because the alleged thief may sue for defamation. Instead, keep the information as confidential as possible.

Texas Supreme Court upholds noncompete agreement


Texas courts ordinarily reject noncompete agreements that require employees not to disclose confidential information if the employer has failed to provide the employee with that confidential information. But now the Texas Supreme Court has modified that stance.

Employers: ‘Keep Out!’ Beware intruding in employee web sites


It’s becoming a common problem: An employer discovers disparaging comments on an employee’s Facebook, MySpace or personal blog. Maybe a post reveals internal company information. Can the employer take disciplinary action? A series of new laws and evolving legal doctrines have placed limits on how far an employer can encroach on the private and off-site activities of its employees.

Check your policy! No privilege when e-mailing lawyer from work


A New Jersey court has held that e-mails employees send to their attorneys via work computers are not protected by the attorney-client privilege. The court’s willingness to rule that an employer’s right to control how employees use its computer equipment trumps attorney-client privilege is significant. The decision makes it clearer than ever that employers should carefully consider the language they use in their employee handbooks.

What are the privacy rules when searching an employee? We suspect theft


Q. Can we open an employee’s personal space or belongings—such as her locker, purse or desk drawer—if we suspect she is stealing?

New ‘red flag’ identity theft mandate takes effect in May


If your organization sells products or services on credit, take note: May 1, 2009, is the deadline to comply with the identity theft requirements in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Dubbed the “red flag” rules, they require all financial institutions and creditors to create and implement a written program for “detection, prevention and mitigation” of identity theft of consumers’ data.