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Business Law Newsletter - May 2015

In This Issue: - Social Media Accounts in Bankruptcy: Business or Personal? - Should Your Company Allow Pets for Take Your Dog to Work Day? - Excerpt from Social Media Accounts in Bankruptcy: Business or...more

Rise of the Video Vigilantes: Handling Secret Workplace Recordings

Video vigilantes are on the rise, and their recordings can quickly go viral. What should employers do to prepare for, handle and prevent covert recordings made in the workplace? Just a few short years ago HR and...more

Connecticut Restricts Employer Access to Personal Social Media, E-mail and Online Retail Accounts of Employees and Applicants

On May 19, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute restricting an employer’s ability to gain access to social media, e-mail and other personal online accounts of employees and job...more

Company Cell Phones: The Benefits

Funding employee cell phones costs companies thousands of dollars each year. As a result, a company may decide that the cost is too great. However, before making the decision of whether to provide cell phones to employees, a...more

Is Your Social Media Policy Overbroad?

The NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel recently published an advice memorandum regarding an employer’s social media policy that provides yet another example of the NLRB’s disapproval of policies that use overbroad language...more

Internet Posting of SPD is Insufficient

Employers know that they must prepare and distribute a summary plan description (SPD) for their ERISA benefit plans, including retirement benefits, health insurance, life insurance and disability insurance. Because of the...more

Employer sued for invasion of privacy by tracking its employees’ every move –on and off company time

Can your employer track you 24-7? This plaintiff, Myrna Arias, a former-Intermex sales executive, claims that her employer’s constant tracking of her every move violated her privacy rights. In Bakersfield, California, Arias’...more

Connecticut Becomes Newest State with Social Media Privacy Law

Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy signed Connecticut’s new social media law on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 prohibiting employers from: (1) requesting or requiring that an employee or applicant provide the employer with a user...more

Supreme Court to Determine if Offer of Relief to Named Plaintiff Moots Class Action

Over the past several years, employers defending wage and other class action lawsuits have increasingly used a procedural move intended to defeat the class claim. In these cases, the employer offers complete financial and...more

Eraser Laws: Forgetting a Minor's Past to Save His Future

Hector recently graduated from UC Berkeley and is anxious about his upcoming job interview. He is about to enter the adult world. But he has also got a bigger problem: When he was 17, he was not as wise as he is now at the...more

What's Popular Right Now at the Intersection of Social Media and the Law?

Live streaming, hashtag trademarks, social media ownership after bankruptcy, the role of socmed in discovery ... myriad issues make for interesting reading....more

Status Updates: Facebook Posts—Reliable Evidence?; Quora Post Costs Applicant a Job; a New Ephemeral Messaging App

Facebook: Fact or fiction? These days, courts are more and more frequently faced with disputes over whether, as part of the discovery process, a litigant should be entitled to view the opposing party’s social media posts. As...more

Ah, Social Media: Blurring the Lines Between Work Life and Personal Life

Andy Warhol is quoted as saying, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." How prophetic you were Andy. These days a single post on social media can travel around the world faster than you can say Snap...more

Claims Dismissed: Social Media Site's Reference Search Not a Background Check

Good news for employers using social media to vet job applicants: A Federal District Court recently ruled the technology used in LinkedIn's Reference Search does not constitute a “consumer background check” of employees and...more

To Err Is Human; to Indemnify, Divine?: Human Foibles in the Cloud

BakerHostetler’s inaugural Data Security Incident Response Report (the “Report”) concluded that employee negligence and theft were two of the top five causes of data security incidents for the more than 200 incidents that we...more

NLRB Continues to Scrutinize Employer Policies - NLRB General Counsel’s Guidance Memorandum and Recent Cases Highlight NLRA Issues

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the “Board”) continues to address the scope of permissible employer policies and workplace rules through guidance issued by its General Counsel and in Board decisions. In March...more

NLRB General Counsel's Recent Report on Work Rules Tracks Areas to Watch - Employers of Union and Non-Union Work Forces Need to Be...

For the last several years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the "Board") has engaged in a well-publicized expansion of scrutiny for employer work rules and has liberally identified those rules that it believes...more

Virginia Joins Nationwide Trend Limiting Employers’ Access To Employees’ Social Media Accounts

Effective July 1, 2015, employers in Virginia will have to comply with a new law limiting their access to employees’ and applicants’ social media accounts. The new law prohibits employers from requiring employees or...more

Legal Help with Labor and Employment Disputes

Scenario No. 1: One of your key employees e-mails you to tell you the stress of the job has given her medical problems, and that this situation is made worse by the breakup of her relationship with one of your managers. You...more

Why Reputation Risk is Quickly Climbing the Ethics and Compliance Priority List, Part 2 | Beyond Compliance Training

Last week, we covered the fundamentals of how reputational risk can impact a company. More companies are crafting strategies to handle this level of brand management by incorporating a more public focus on ethics and...more

#OptIn #OptOut — Update

Back in March we wrote about the group of former unpaid interns from Gawker Media’s Manhattan office suing to recover back pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and their desire to use social media to...more

Facebook is Not a Picket Line

The National Labor Relations Act protects the rights of employees to connect and address conditions at work, and recent decisions have held that this protection extends to certain work-related conversations on social media....more

Is Posting Obscenities Aimed At Supervisor On Facebook A Terminable Offense?

Maybe not, according to a recently published NLRB decision. In Pier Sixty LLC, a majority of a three-member NLRB panel affirmed an ALJ’s decision that the employer violated Section 8(a)(1) and (3) of the National Labor...more

Virginia & Montana Pass Employee Social Media Privacy Acts

Employers in Virginia and Montana that want to connect with their employees online may now have to wait for their employees to “like” them first, thanks to a pair of bills recently enacted. On March 23, Virginia Governor...more

NLRB Punishes Employer for Past Unlawful Handbook Policies Despite Employer’s Attempt to Repudiate

In Boch Imports, Inc., the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that the employer, a car dealership, violated the National Labor Relations Act because the dealership’s social media and dress code policies were...more

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