In a new class action filed recently against a hospital housekeeping company, employees allege their employer’s fingerprint scanning time-tracking system runs afoul of privacy laws.  The Pennsylvania-based company Xanitos Inc. now faces the lawsuit in federal court in Illinois, claiming the company violated the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act. 
Continue Reading Press Pause Before Using Biometric Tech in the Workplace

A magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon recently made findings and recommendations to dismiss a purported class action against Kroger subsidiary Fred Meyer.  The suit alleges that the retailer’s background check process for prospective employees violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act by both failing to properly disclose that a report will be run, and failing to comply with the statute’s procedural requirements before taking adverse action against an applicant.
Continue Reading The Spokeo Chronicles: Another Tentative Background Check Win for Kroger Subsidiary

In EEOC v. McLane Co., Inc., the Ninth Circuit recently held that the EEOC has broad subpoena powers to obtain nationwide private personnel information, including social security numbers (“SSNs”), in connection with its investigation of a sex discrimination charge.
Continue Reading EEOC Allowed Broad Access to Private Information, Including Social Security Numbers

State legislation concerning employee privacy in social media continues to grow with six states passing such legislation in 2014, including Tennessee, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.
Continue Reading Oregon Increases Safeguards on Employee’s Social Media Rights

In Purple Communications, Inc., a divided National Labor Relations Board held that employees have the right to use their employers’ email systems for statutorily protected communications, including self-organization and other terms and conditions of employment, during non-working time.
Continue Reading NLRB Reverses Register Guard; Grants Workers Right To Use Employer Email System For Section 7 Purposes

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey recently ruled that non-public Facebook wall posts are protected under the Federal Stored Communications Act (the “SCA”) in Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp., No. 2:11-CV-3305 (WMJ) (D.N.J. Aug. 20, 2013).  The plaintiff was a registered nurse and paramedic at Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp. (“MONOC”).  She maintained a personal Facebook profile and was “Facebook friends” with many of her coworkers but none of the MONOC managers.  She adjusted her privacy preferences so only her “Facebook friends” could view the messages she posted onto her Facebook wall.  Unbeknownst to the plaintiff, a coworker who was also a “Facebook friend” took screenshots of the plaintiff’s wall posts and sent them to a MONOC manager.  When the manager learned of a wall post in which the plaintiff criticized Washington, D.C. paramedics in their response to a museum shooting, MONOC temporarily suspended the plaintiff with pay and delivered a memo warning her that the wall post reflected a “deliberate disregard for patient safety.”  The plaintiff subsequently filed suit alleging violations of the SCA, among other claims.


Continue Reading Federal Court: Non-Public Facebook Wall Posts Are Protected Under The Federal Stored Communications Act

As reported on Hunton & Williams’ Privacy and Information Security Law Blog, on June 5, 2013, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio denied an employer’s motion to dismiss, holding that the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) can apply when an employer reads a former employee’s personal emails on a company-issued

As reported on Hunton & Williams’ Privacy and Information Security Law Blog, on January 25, 2013, Kmart Corporation (“Kmart”) agreed to a $3 million settlement stemming from allegations that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) when using background checks to make employment decisions. The FCRA addresses adverse actions taken against consumers based