Published: March 24, 2015

It has traditionally been understood and recognized that employees do not have an expectation of privacy when using their employer’s computer system and that employers can monitor and control their employees’ emails. However, in light of a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB 126 (2014), employers may need to rethink this commonly held belief.

. . . . . .

Published: March 19, 2013

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Mark A. Spognardi provided his thoughts in the March 1 Law360 article “Following Yahoo On Work-From-Home Ban May Spell Trouble.” The article addressed lawyers’ concerns that companies that ban telecommuting need to act carefully to avoid being sued for violations of disability or discrimination laws.

To read Mr. Spognardi’s comments and the complete article, please click here.

. . . . . .

Published: February 21, 2013

Questions related to reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities are some of the most difficult situations for employers to resolve. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to grant an employee a reasonable accommodation in the workplace for his or her disability. Such an accommodation is not required if it would cause an employer an undue hardship. Determining an employer’s obligations can be tricky when there is not a black-and-white test that tells an employer whether an accommodation is reasonable or imposes an undue hardship.

. . . . . .

Published: January 17, 2013

Employers and in-house counsel facing class-wide litigation received a welcome opinion from the District of Colorado to kick-off the new year. In EEOC v. The Original Honeybaked Ham Co. of Georgia, Inc., the court approved a questionnaire for claimants to identify numerous sources of electronic information, including that which could be used to access social media accounts.

. . . . . .

Published: January 9, 2013

Is the NLRB following a Mayan calendar? It seems there is a flurry of activity coming from the board as we head into the calendar-year end. Included in that activity is the release of Hispanics United of Buffalo, Inc., 359 NLRB No. 37 (2012). This case has been on the radar for many social media and labor law followers because it was one of the first to address a discharge from employment on the basis of social media activity.

. . . . . .

Published: November 8, 2012

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of people are taking greater advantage of LinkedIn’s “recommending” feature. With this tool, a user can request that another user comment on that individual’s professional performance, skill, reputation, and the like. Not only is this feature available, but LinkedIn actually suggests you request a recommendation to complete your profile. Unlike traditional letters of recommendation, making a request is quick and easy as it only takes a few clicks to send.

. . . . . .

Published: October 24, 2012

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Mark Spognardi and Milwaukee Associate Jesse Dill recently published an article entitled “Social media policy concerns gain traction as NLRB issues first decisions.” The article discusses the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) two recent decisions regarding employers’ social media policies. The decisions are based on the social media policies of Costco Wholesale Corp. and Karl Knauz Motors, Inc. Mr. Spognardi and Mr.

. . . . . .

Published: October 6, 2012

For those following social media and labor law, this month was noteworthy as the National Labor Relations Board issued its first decision taking on an employer’s social media policy in Costco Wholesale Corp., 358 NLRB No. 106 (2012). You may recall that over the last year the NLRB Acting General Counsel issued a series of memoranda that provided insight into its interpretation of how the NLRA applies to social media policies and it would prosecute such cases.

. . . . . .

Published: September 11, 2012

Chicago Partner Mark Spognardi recently wrote an article, "Legislation seeks to ban employer use of employee social media passwords: Companies could face privacy or discrimination suits for requesting personal log-in information," that discusses the recent legislative trend seeking to prohibit employers from asking applicants and employees for usernames and passwords to their social media networking sites.

. . . . . .

Published: August 10, 2012

On August 1, 2012, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that prohibits employers from requesting or requiring employees or prospective employees from providing “any password or other related account information” to gain access to the individual’s social networking account. Ill. Public Act 097-0875. By enacting the legislation, Illinois joins Maryland as states that prohibit employers from obtaining social media account password information. The law amends the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, 820 ILCS 55, and is effective January 1, 2013.

. . . . . .