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Workplace Privacy & Social Media

The Internet has fostered broad new possibilities, but also significant new risks and vulnerabilities for companies of all sizes. Gentry Locke has a team dedicated to staying on top of the latest legal developments affecting our clients’ business – both the workplace risks and opportunities – in the digital age.

Since electronic data is everywhere and part of every business every day, we attempt to provide common sense advice and preventative strategies that address the range of potential issues relating to privacy, social media and data management. The increasing mobility and technical savvy workforce only amplifies the need for this approach.

Workplace Privacy

As the ability to transmit and store data continues to grow exponentially, and the NSA and other agencies collect and store reams of personal information, the concern for privacy has become a “hot” issue. This concern applies to personal information of individuals, as well as the confidential and proprietary information of businesses. Achieving a balance between the need for ready access to information and individual/organizational privacy is critical, particularly for companies that provide services involving the regular handling of sensitive information and/or have a multi-jurisdictional presence. We provide services to clients to assist them with achieving this balance, including:

  • Background searches and FCRPA issues
  • Drug testing protocols and programs
  • Monitoring activities
  • HIPAA privacy and security, HITECH Act
  • GINA and ADA
  • Location tracking
  • Negotiate contracts with employees and third parties
  • Workplace investigations
  • Defend claims alleging privacy or data breach
  • Mergers and acquisitions

Social Media

Social media is here to stay, whether it is networking sites or blogs. Companies are turning to this evolving medium for branding, client development and service, research, recruiting, and to improve employee engagement. While there can be real benefits, the use of social media presents real challenges for employers. We regularly advise our clients concerning (i) whether and how to monitor and regulate employees’ social media use; (ii) the use of information obtained through social media in hiring, promotion, discipline and other decisions; and (iii) the challenges of social media in litigation. Examples include:

  • Educating all employers on the limits imposed by the National Labor Relations Act
  • Developing policies and providing training to guide the acceptable use of social media by employees, as well as internal protocols for management
  • Developing policies to avoid impermissible endorsement of company products and services
  • As part of our e-discovery team, we advise clients concerning the limits on mining social media for advantages in litigation
  • Developing strategies for limiting and responding to cyber-smearing and non-disparagement in social media

Data Breach

Among a company’s most valuable assets is the proprietary information compiled over time regarding its business, its customers and its employees. Like other assets, such information must be appropriately safeguarded, accessible and preserved. When a breach occurs, prompt response and all required notices must be sent in a timely manner. We provide a range of services to help clients manage this important asset, including:

  • Data breach avoidance and response
  • Forensic-assisted investigations and litigation when a data breach occurs
  • Employment and non-compete contracts
  • Training
Have questions? Contact us.