Employees are also entitled to a certain degree of privacy when working, but employers can still intrude on seemingly private matters, especially if an employee has no reasonable expectation of privacy. In the age of company-issued mobile phones and computers, employee use of employer-owned devices is a particularly important area where privacy is not protected. In most cases, any activity conducted on company-owned devices, whether telephone conversations or electronic communications, can be monitored. Keep in mind that some types of workplace screening files are not necessarily private. For example, a check is based on criminal records or credit information based on public records. While an employee harmed by improper use of this information may have a cause of action under other theories, privacy may not apply. Nevada is the latest state to pass laws restricting an employer`s access to employees` and potential employees` personal social media accounts. The new law (Assembly Bill No. 181) prohibits Nevada employers from conditioning employment on the disclosure of personal information from a candidate`s or employee`s social media account, including usernames and passwords. The law will come into force on October 1, 2013. At GGRM Law Firm, we have seen many examples of employers not respecting their employees` privacy rights, especially in cases of breach.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated and would like to contact one of our lawyers, please call us today at 702-384-1616. You can also reach us via our contact page. Jackson Lewis P.C.`s 950+ lawyers, who have focused on employment law since 1958, constantly identify and respond to new ways in which employment law intersects with business. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-focused solutions to foster a highly functional, engaged, stable and diverse workforce, and share our clients` goals of emphasizing inclusion and respect for each employee`s contribution. For more information, see www.jacksonlewis.com. Nevada joins Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington, which also passed social media privacy laws this year, as well as California, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan, which did so in 2012. (For more information on these new laws, see More states restrict employer access to employees` social media accounts.) This guide, published by Termaeddon, breaks down the changes to Nevada`s Privacy Protection Act and discusses various aspects of compliance with the law, including: Due to Nevada legislation as well as similar laws recently enacted in other states, employers should consider reviewing their hiring and selection practices. Those responsible for responding to employment inquiries or conducting job interviews should be trained in the restrictions of the new law. Employers should also review their applications and hiring policies to ensure they are compliant. Nevada law covers all private employers and “any person who acts, directly or indirectly, in the interest of an employer with respect to an employee or prospective employee.” Employers are prohibited from “directly or indirectly” requiring an employee or candidate to disclose their username, password or other information that allows them to access their personal social media account. The law also prohibits employers from dismissing, disciplining, refusing employment or discriminating against an employee or applicant for refusing to disclose such information. “Social Media Account” is defined broadly and includes all electronic services or accounts or electronic content, including videos, photos, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant messages and text messages, email programs or services, online services or Internet website profiles.
An employer may collect a significant amount of personal information about its employees, whether the information is collected through a formal selection process or learned during the relationship. Privacy laws limit what employers can do with employee information, but Nevada workers need to understand when privacy rights apply and when they don`t. In particular, the legislation does not provide an exemption for employers who investigate workplace misconduct, such as workplace violence or harassment. However, employers may require employees to provide the username, password or other information for an account or service other than a personal social media account in order to access the employer`s computer system. In addition, the law cannot be interpreted as preventing an employer from complying with other state or federal laws. Employers are required to keep certain types of employee information strictly confidential. Medical records fall into this category. Federal law requires employers to keep medical records separate from other records about the employee, with access limited to very limited circumstances. This protection extends to information about an employee`s disability, information obtained through a routine medical examination, and information collected in support of an employee`s leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.
Nevada law provides similar protection for information related to an employee`s claims. Various laws also protect certain types of information that employers regularly collect as part of their pre-employment selection process. If an employer conducts criminal background checks or credit checks, they must obtain the applicant`s permission and ensure that these records are disposed of properly. Under Nevada law, an employer cannot request usernames and passwords for a candidate`s social media accounts. While employers have a right to know a lot about what is happening in the workplace, employees are still entitled to a certain level of privacy when they work.
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