Employee Privacy Rights: Limitations To Monitoring, Surveillance And Other Technological Searches In The Private Workplace
Wendi S. Lazar and former associate Lauren Schwartzreich, PLI Institute, June 23, 2011
This article by O&G partner Wendi S. Lazar and former associate Lauren Schwartzreich surveys the current law related to employee privacy and technology in the workplace. As technology and employees' uses of it have developed, so have employers' surveillance of and intrusion into those uses. The article reviews the legal system's response, considering federal statutes and cases as well as state law, and discusses likely future developments in this area.
What's Private In The Private Workplace? Social Networking Sites, Background Checks And Employee Rights
Wendi S. Lazar, Law Journal Newsletters, Employment Law Strategist, Volume 18, Number 12, April 2011
Employees, employers and courts have long wrestled with concepts of privacy, protected speech, and personal history in the workplace. The debate continues as new technologies and social networking sites enable employers to easily access employees’ personal lives. Unlike their public sector counterparts, private-sector employees have historically enjoyed little protection against unreasonable property searches by their employers. Is the legal landscape changing? Employees and their counsel should review new federal and state laws and avenues of protection and enforcement when employers step over real and virtual boundaries.
Internet Searches of Applicants May Violate Employment laws
In today’s job market, employers can easily screen job applicants through basic Internet searches and, increasingly, by viewing their social networking site profiles. A frequently cited 2009 survey by CareerBuilder.com found that 45% of the 2,600 hiring personnel surveyed screen job applicants by viewing their social networking site profiles. How is this information being used and is its use permissible? This survey also found that 35% percent of these individuals reported that content found on social networking sites caused them not to hire the candidate. Is the access and use of such information permissible? And if so, what are the limitations, if any?
Unlike their public sector counterparts, private-sector employees have historically enjoyed little protection against unreasonable property searches by their employers. Is the legal landscape changing?