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Employee Privacy Laws

How much privacy can an employee expect in a public workplace? Many employers can monitor an employee’s emails, surfing the internet and phone calls. But, when is the employer crossing the lines into employee privacy? There are many specific laws allowing certain employee privacy. Contact an Expert to gain legal answers and insight regarding laws on employee privacy.

Are there laws on employee privacy?

Not only are there state laws, but there are federal and local legislation that provide protection against an invasion of employees’ privacy. Federal and state laws deal with the confidentiality of personnel files and employees’ to access personnel files along with other searches, drug and alcohol testing, and privacy in the electronic workplace, such as e-mails, telephone, and computer. The courts have created a law to allow employees to sue the employer for invasion of privacy; this covers four factors: intrusion, private affairs, defamation and appropriation of name.

Is it legal in the state of California for an employer to require the employee to take their lunch breaks in a lounge or have to be parked out front of the building?

According to the Labor Code 96 (k), an employee cannot be terminated or disciplined for lawful activities that are during nonworking hours. Since a lunch break is normally considered nonworking time, if the employer is controlling the location where the employee must spend their nonworking hours, it would be unlawful under the California law, because the employee will be entitled to a constitutional right to privacy during nonworking hours.

These laws are very hard for an employee to enforce, and the courts have been unwilling to hold the employers to anything unless it is a very serious violation of an employee’s privacy rights. The employer’s requirements may be considered illegal. It can all depend on the DLSE investigation officer’s interpretation of the law, assuming the employee was to file a wage claim.

When an Outplacement company gives another company employment status about an employee that they terminated, is this considered employee privacy violation?

If the previous employer has contacted this outplacement company to help the previous employee with their employment status it will not be considered an invasion of privacy to provide these status reports, especially if an issue with unemployment is involved.

Do employees have any rights to any privacy laws as to what is shared to a previous employer?

A previous employer has the right to disclose information on past employees to any future employers. Many employers choose not to give out this information because they do not want to be accused of releasing false information and have a potential court case because of this. Laws allow an employer to give out employment and employment history to a future employer along with any evaluations or reasons for discharges or termination of employment with any employers who may ask for this information.

In the state of California can an employer release information to someone about an employee’s work schedule?

In the state of California there are no laws that prohibit an employer from releasing an employee’s schedule to a third party. There is no privacy interest in an employee’s schedule. Many times an employee feels that their employer is invading their privacy. Many times that is the case, and other times, the employee does not completely understand the employee privacy rights in the workplace. Experts can provide many legal answers and insight relating to many employee privacy issues

Ask an Employment Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 8097
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
4460311
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
characters left:
4 Employment Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Employment Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 7759
JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 10539
Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 9785
Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

Recent Privacy Questions

  • I suspect that my employer has me under an electronic surveillance

    I suspect that my employer has me under an electronic surveillance in retaliation for filing a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit in the U.S. District Court. Here are some of my reasons for suspecting my employer of a violating the Electronic Communication and Privacy Act. First, I work for a local municipal government and they have a Police Department with a special investigate unit known as the "Vice Unit." Second, some of my co-workers have blatantly harassed me about some of the things my husband and I talk about at home, on my cell phone and text. Some of my co-workers have even made comments about my husband's salary, work location, ethnic origin, etc. My co-workers and supervisors have harassed me about the country in which my husband was born. My co-workers have repeated things that my attorney and I have discussed via cell phone. My co-workers and supervisors know about the discussions that I have held with other family members such as my Mom, Dad, Aunt, and Uncles. Third, I have noticed strange behavior with both of my cell phones and my television. For example, as I hold my cell phone, I can feel vibrations going through the phone. At night, I noticed that my phone will turn off and on without me turning it off or on. At night, I noticed that someone or something else appears to be controlling my cellphones by accessing the private session of the internet on my iphone. It just seems as if my cellphones are being controlled by some other party. Also, when I turn my LED Smart television off it never goes off. What legal recourse if any do I have? Would I have to a conduct further investigation to obtain evidence? If you require further information please make a request?
  • If a person in a management position assists in spreading rumors

    If a person in a management position assists in spreading rumors about an individual can the company be sued for invasion of privacy or slander?
  • While in treatment, my boss revealed, to my staff, that I was an alcoholic and recieving t

    While in treatment, my boss revealed, to my staff, that I was an alcoholic and recieving treatment in a rehabilition facility. I am an Assistant General Manager of a restaurant. Do I have a claim?
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