Showing 6 posts in Privacy.

New York Prohibits Employers From Requiring Access To Employee's Social Media Account Information

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law last month that amended New York State Labor Law, prohibiting employers from requesting or requiring employees and job applicants to disclose their social media account information. The law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees or job applicants who refuse to disclose their social media account information.  More ›

May Employers Weed Out Medical Marijuana Patients Through Drug Testing? Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Will Weigh In

The ever-changing landscape of medical marijuana laws in states across the nation has given rise to several lawsuits regarding an employer’s right to enforce anti-drug policies against employees who hold valid state-issued medical marijuana licenses. As the Employment Law Observer has previously reported, the Colorado Supreme Court and a federal district court in New Mexico previously held that these states’ medical marijuana laws do not impose any duty on employers to accommodate medical marijuana use. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is set to weigh in on the issue next. More ›

New Jersey Federal Court Finds that SCA Exception Applies to Facebook Posting Shared by Co-Employee

In the case of Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp., Civ. No. 2:11-cv-03305 (WJM) (D. N.J. Aug. 20, 2013), a federal district court in New Jersey granted an employer's motion for summary judgment, and thereby dismissed the employee's claims of violations of the federal Stored Communications Act, (SCA"), the Family Medical Leave Act, and other claims the employee made under New Jersey law alleging discrimination, invasion of privacy, and protected "whistle blowing" activity. We will focus today on the court's analysis and application of the SCA to the sharing of screen shots from the employee's Facebook postings. Before reaching that discussion, however, the court first had to review the relevant facts.  More ›

Massachusetts Court: Employee had no Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Employer-Provided Gmail Account

At the developing intersection of employment law and the internet, every decision is important. It is, therefore, worth taking note of a recent decision out of Massachusetts state court, wherein the court found that an employee had no reasonable expectation of privacy in e-mails sent and received using a Gmail account provided and administered by his employer.  More ›

U.S. Supreme Court and State Legislatures Address Privacy Issues in the Workplace

A loaded question, admittedly, but the answer for the Supreme Court, once again, is no.

In Federal Aviation Administration v. Cooper, No. 10-1024 (March 28, 2012), the Supreme Court had to decide whether individuals may recover actual damages under the Privacy Act for sustaining mental or emotional distress. 5 U.S.C. §552a(g)(4)(A). Writing for the majority in a 5-3 decision, (which did not involve Justice Kagan), Judge Alito dispatched with all suspense by first declaring the holding that the Act does not provide for such remedies. The Privacy Act bears unique qualities. It covers the activities of Executive Branch agencies who hold confidential records. The Act permits an individual to file a civil suit against an agency over "intentional or willful" violations of the Act. 5 U.S.C. §552a(g)(1)(D) & 5 U.S.C. §552a(g)(4)(A). An individual can recover "actual damages" upon proving that an agency has violated the requirements of the Act "in such a way as to have an adverse effect on an individual". Id. More ›

Significant Public Interest in Investigation, Discipline of School Teacher Outweighs His Right to Privacy

Though personnel files are typically afforded protection from inquiring minds, the rules are a little bit different when there’s a significant public interest at issue. That was precisely the case in this recent decision by the California Court of Appeals. More ›