Total Articles: 28
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 17, 2018
2018 has so far been a year that will long live in the memory of workplace privacy lawyers. Over the past eight months, lawyers for multinational corporations have had to familiarize themselves with a range of new laws, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); the GDPR-styled California Consumer Privacy Act; and new data breach notification laws in South Dakota and Alabama. As we enter the final few months of the year, additional privacy laws and developments sit on the horizon. This article focuses on three more developments that privacy lawyers and employment counsels should be aware of heading into the final months of 2018.
Fisher Phillips • September 10, 2018
Our client, we’ll call them Company X, provides installation, connection, upgrades and repairs for one of the country’s largest providers of residential and commercial television, telephone and Internet service. We’ll call their customer Company Y. Pursuant to their contractual agreement, our client (Company X) retained a third party vendor to conduct civil and criminal background checks on job applicants. However, in the last year Company Y was purchased by Company Z, an even larger provider of television, telephone and Internet services. Company Z requires our client to utilize a different third-party vendor for conducting background checks.
FordHarrison LLP • September 06, 2018
Executive Summary: Increasingly, stories are appearing in the news about employees who have secretly recorded their colleagues and supervisors at work. It may come as a surprise that such recordings may be completely legal. The ease with which secret recordings can be made presents multiple considerations for employers.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 10, 2018
On June 22, 2018, in Carpenter v. United States, the United States Supreme Court decided that the federal government would need a warrant in order to obtain historical location data from cellular service providers, based on cell tower “pings.”
Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 22, 2018
On April 17th, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the highly anticipated U.S. v. Microsoft, ruling that recently enacted legislation rendered the case moot. Microsoft Corp. had been in litigation with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for several years over the issue of whether Microsoft must comply with a U.S. search warrant for access to customer’s emails and other personal data within its “possession, custody or control”, regardless of whether such data is stored within the U.S. or abroad.
Ogletree Deakins • March 21, 2018
Employers obtain employee health information in a number of ways—most commonly, in relation to a work-related injury or when an employee requests medical leave or a disability accommodation. Most employers understand that such information is “confidential,” but may not fully understand what that means or what they should do to protect it.
Fisher Phillips • March 15, 2018
Many of us have become comfortable with the convenience of logging into our laptops or smartphones using a fingerprint scan in lieu of remembering yet another password. We are familiar with television and movie portrayals of retina scans being required for access to top secret laboratories or other secure buildings and rooms. This kind of technology, however, is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Businesses are increasingly using biometric data (i.e., measurements of a person’s physical being) for a variety of identification purposes, such as to provide security for the financial transactions of their customers and for the tracking of work hours of their employees.
Ogletree Deakins • February 16, 2017
On February 6, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Wyandotte County, Kansas, did not violate the U.S. Constitution by discharging an employee in a safety-sensitive position after he tested positive for cocaine in a random drug test. The court found that the random drug test was not an unreasonable search because the plaintiff’s interaction with children outweighed his individual privacy interest. It also found that the county’s drug testing and human resources policies did not create a protected property interest in continued employment or an implied contract. Washington v. Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas, No. 15-3181.
Fisher Phillips • October 05, 2016
Last Friday, Snapchat (which recently changed its name to Snap, Inc.) announced the coming release of its newest product: “Spectacles” - brightly colored, fun-looking sunglasses with a built-in camera that records videos in 10-second increments (which can be combined to form a video of up to 30-seconds in length) with the touch of a button. The videos can be stored in the sunglasses until a later time or uploaded to the user’s phone for immediate sharing with friends.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 21, 2016
Yes! It is the law in more places and circumstances than you suspect.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 18, 2016
In the face of seemingly daily news reports of company data breaches and the mounting legislative concern and efforts on both the state and federal level to enact laws safeguarding personal information maintained by companies, employers should be questioning whether they should implement privacy policies to address the protection of personal information they maintain on their employees.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 04, 2016
In response to the February 2, 2016, announcement by the European Commission (the "Commission") and the U.S. Commerce Department of a new framework, called the "Privacy Shield," to replace the invalidated U.S.-European Union ("EU") Safe Harbor Framework for cross-border data transfers,1 the EU's top data protection regulatory body, the Article 29 Working Party (the "Working Party"), issued a statement expressing reservations and providing limited guidance for U.S. multinational employers. The Working Party's Statement, issued on February 3, 2016, demonstrates that the regulatory environment surrounding transfers of personal data between the U.S. and the EU remains fraught with uncertainty and risk.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 08, 2016
You’ve spent extensive time and effort, not to mention money, establishing your company’s reputation only to have the company defamed or disparaged anonymously online. This is a scenario which many organizations face in today’s virtual marketplace. As a recent decision by the Delaware Superior Court illustrates, dealing with these types of issues is often difficult and complicated, especially from a legal perspective.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 31, 2015
Can we prohibit employees from making audio recordings at work? As advancements in technology continue to increase, and it becomes easier and easier for employees to surreptitiously record conversations, this inquiry is posed by many employers. In fact, we discussed this very question back in 2013. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is perhaps the most often used attorney response – “Maybe.” This is especially true given the recent decision from the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) in Whole Foods Market, Inc. and United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 919 and Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago. For employers, or those looking to prohibit the use of recording devices, the NLRB’s decision, issued on December 24, 2015, is more akin to coal than an early Christmas present.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 14, 2015
When people think about data breaches, they tend think more about the illegal hacking into computer networks by individuals, criminal enterprises or even nation states, than they do about simple employee error. This makes some sense as hacking incidents seem to be more interesting and draw more media attention. Holding this belief, however, can cause many to underestimate the risk of a breach due to the assumption they are not likely to be the target of a hack, and miss altogether the risk of employee error. A recent report by the Wall Street Journal about a survey by the Association for Corporate Counsel may change this.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 12, 2015
Demonstrating its continued commitment to data security enforcement, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced Cox Communications Inc., the nation’s third largest cable operator, agreed to pay $595,000 to resolve an investigation into whether the company failed to properly protect its customers’ personal information. The agreement ends the first data security enforcement action brought by the FCC against a cable operator.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 23, 2015
Bloomberg BNA (subscription) recently reported that this fall the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) will be issuing a report on Fitbit Inc.’s privacy practices. Avid runners, walkers or those up on the latest gadgets likely know about Fitbit, and its line of wearable fitness devices.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 29, 2015
The saying – never let them see you sweat – soon may be more difficult to accomplish with Microsoft’s Hololens. Like Google Glass, the Hololens is worn as a headset. But this device has a “plurality” of sensors that gather a range of biometrics parameters (heart rate, perspiration, etc.) which determine along with other information if the wearer needs help with something, and then tries to provide that help. Referred to in Microsoft’s patent application approved earlier this year as an “augmented reality help system,” the device’s applications and implications can be far reaching, as it is not hard to see, for example, why companies might want to adopt this technology to benefit their business.
Fisher Phillips • June 27, 2013
When is the last time your company reviewed its data protection policies? If your company employs any international employees, it may have obligations under foreign laws to have specific safeguards in place. Failure to observe a jurisdiction’s data protection laws can result in staff penalties and unwelcome press coverage. Although the European Union is leading the way with a proposed comprehensive new data protection law, other countries from China to the United Kingdom, South Africa, Qatar, Dubai, and several Latin American countries are developing, or have already enacted, their own data protection laws, with many based on the European model.
ManpowerGroup • June 14, 2012
A new study shows the destructive effects gossip can have on a workplace
Fisher Phillips • June 08, 2012
Privacy can be an elusive goal. In today's world, the Internet allows us an almost unlimited access to information. Yet, the more information that becomes available, the more the insatiable desire grows for still more detail on a moment's notice. Unless your name ends in "ardashian," however, you likely still crave some semblance of privacy. The crossroad between these competing two forces can create issues for employers in today's society.
Ogletree Deakins • November 10, 2010
Can the federal government require contract employees to disclose their use of illegal drugs? Can states sanction employers that knowingly hire unauthorized aliens? Can employers be held liable for the discriminatory actions of managers who don't make ultimate employment decisions? The U.S. Supreme Court will decide these and other issues in its new term, which began on October 3.
Fisher Phillips • September 27, 2010
In mid-June, for the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether an employer was within its rights to search employee text messages. The court decided unanimously that the search was reasonable. Although the case focused on a government employer, the decision clearly has ramifications for private businesses as well.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 18, 2010
The Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in City of Ontario v. Quon—the first Supreme Court case directly addressing public employees’ privacy rights with respect to communications via employer-issued communications devices such as pagers, cell phones and smart phones. In the 9-0 decision (with two concurring opinions), the Court held that a California city’s review of two months’ worth of text messages on a police officer’s city-issued pager was reasonable where the city was concerned that, among other things, it might be paying for employees’ personal use of those pagers. Notably, the Court took pains to limit its holding to the particular facts of the case, making clear that it wished to avoid defining the contours of employee privacy rights on new technology before the role of the technology in the workplace and society become clear.
Fisher Phillips • June 15, 2010
On March 30, 2010, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the intermediate appellate court's decision in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., a widely followed workplace privacy case with national implications. In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court held that an employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy in her e-mail communications exchanged with her personal attorney through her web-based, password-protected Yahoo! e-mail account using her employer's computer.
Fisher Phillips • May 07, 2010
"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment," explained Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell's masterpiece, 1984. Smith and his fellow employees worked and lived under the assumption that every sound they made was overheard, every utterance recorded, and every movement scrutinized by their employer, a government agency. As an ever-increasing number of employers provide their employees with work-issued computers and Internet access, life appears to be imitating art.
Fisher Phillips • September 02, 2009
With the disclosure of personal information now rampant on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it sometimes seems like privacy is a relic of the past. Don't be fooled: privacy is a hot legal topic with serious implications for employers.
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP • January 15, 2009
Last year the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued rules aimed at preventing and combating identity fraud (the “Red Flag Rules” or the “Rules”). The Red Flag Rules require “financial institutions” and “creditors” that hold “covered accounts” to develop and implement an identity theft prevention program for new and existing accounts. The FTC has broadly interpreted the terms “creditors” and “covered accounts” to impose compliance on many institutions that are not engaged in extending credit and financing in the traditional sense. Mandatory compliance with the Rules began on Nov. 1, 2008; although the FTC announced that it will delay enforcing them until May 1, 2009, to give creditors and financial institutions additional time to comply with the Rules. In this Alert, we explain why the Red Flag Rules may be applicable to your school.