We work with our clients to address daily human resources issues such as medical and family leave, worker’s compensation, diversity, harassment, downsizing and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. We also advise on employee classification, accommodation of religion and disabilities, leaves of absence, employee handbooks and compliance with new laws and regulations. We keep your business goals in mind while helping you to decode the complicated array of overlapping and sometimes conflicting federal, state and local laws and regulations.
If you are an employee you must be careful about the content of your blogs because what you say may constitute a breach of an employment or confidentiality agreement. Federal laws may protect an employee from being fired for a comment made on a blog if it relates to activity involving organizing a union. However, such laws do not give an unlimited right to an employee to post information regarding sales, management, products, other employees, rumors, trade secrets or defamatory comments. Another reason to be careful about what you say is that at-will employees can be dismissed for any reason not prohibited by law, which may include content on a blog even when written on a personal computer while at home.
Privacy at Work
If you are an employee, you must make sure your conduct on and off the job is in compliance with your employer’s standards and practices, but that your freedom is not unduly restricted. If you are an employer, you must keep a watchful eye on your employees to ensure they are maintaining your business and client confidentiality, not making false claims or misrepresentations about the company to potential clients and maintaining a positive company image.
Employers have access to all of the emails on an employee’s work provided computer or work based email account, as well as to correspondence sent and received on a work provided smart phone, laptop or other electronic device. Some companies have technologies that track and monitor individual employee behavior based on electronic activity in the workplace. This behavioral monitoring technology can compile all of the electronic records needed to map behavior patterns that employers use to evaluate employee conduct and performance.
Employers are motivated to monitor employee conduct due to concerns over litigation and the increasing role electronic evidence plays in lawsuits and government investigations.
Whether you are an employee or an employer, you should be advised on the limits of your protected activities.