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Is video surveillance of employees legal?

Q. My family owns a chain of electronics stores. We suspect that employees have stolen some merchandise. We want to install surveillance cameras in our inventory storage room and possibly near the back door of the store where the theft occurred. Are there any legal issues that we should take into consideration? …

Can you legally fire a woman who has an abortion?

When graphic artist Jane Doe became pregnant, she told her boss. Then she learned that the child was severely deformed. She decided to terminate the pregnancy. She took a week off for the procedure, recovery and to bury the child. Then her employer then fired her.

How employers can stick to their guns under the BSEPA

Georgia’s Business Security and Employee Privacy Act (BSEPA) took effect July 1, 2008. The law expands employees’ rights to transport lawfully registered firearms in their vehicles even if they are traveling to work. The law will not turn the workplace into shooting galleries, but it will limit employers’ rights to search employees’ vehicles …

Set—And enforce—Text messaging and paging privacy policy

Public employers may have to revise their cell phone, e-mail and text messaging policies in light of a recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision. If you handle HR for a government agency, make sure you have a strong privacy policy that spells out your right to read text messages transmitted over employer-paid services …

Santa Clara firm fined for not accommodating lactating mom

A Silicon Valley security services company has been fined $4,000 for failing to provide a private space for one of its employees to express breast milk. California regulators fined International Security Services, based in Santa Clara, after receiving a complaint from a new mother …

Are employee assistance programs required?


Q. I understand that many companies offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) as an added benefit for employees who may have drug or alcohol abuse problems. Are we required by law to do so? …

Strong privacy policy can curtail rifling through files

Employees who are involved in employment disputes often think they can simply gather up any evidence they find lying about and turn it over to their lawyers. Smart employers try to limit the damage that revealing such confidential information may bring by holding all employees to reasonable privacy and confidentiality rules …

When former employees compete: Getting noncompetes right

Good employees, especially those in sales or professional services positions, can quickly turn into enemies when they quit. Employers frequently require those employees to sign employment agreements containing noncompete and nonsolicitation restrictions when they start work. However, Illinois courts generally do not favor these kinds of restrictions and will look at them very closely. In fact, our courts are quite likely to rule in favor of employees …

Using GPS tracking devices without violating employee privacy

Global Positioning System devices make it easy for employers to keep track of the location of company vehicles. But for all the pluses of GPS, there are minuses. Because GPS devices also can pinpoint where employees who use company vehicles are and where they have been, the technology has raised new worker privacy concerns that HR professionals need to know about …

Comcast takes check for woman’s ‘Right arm’

When Krista Cooney, a Comcast customer in western Pennsylvania, sent the company a check made out for “My Right Arm and Zero Dollars” to protest her cable bill, she thought she’d had the last laugh. But Cooney contends an unidentified employee at Comcast posted an electronic copy of the check on the Internet …