Technology and the Workplace

Yes – employers generally can monitor employee emails sent using an employer-provided account, but it’s best for employers to take certain steps to ensure that the monitoring is lawful.
Whether an employer can monitor employee emails sent using company email typically depends on whether the employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the emails. 

Reversing a previous 2007 decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently held that employees have a presumptive right to use employer-provided email systems for union organizing and other protected, concerted activities.
In Purple Communications, Inc., the NLRB held that “[w]e adopt a presumption that employees who have been given access to the employer’s

A recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota clarified that an employer’s failure to remove a former employee from a company website does not constitute unlawful appropriation, unless it’s intentional.
Appropriation is one of three torts that fall under the umbrella term of invasion of privacy.  The tort occurs

In April of 2014, Wisconsin became one of the latest states to pass legislation prohibiting employers from requiring access to employee or applicant social media accounts as a condition of employment.  See 2013 Wisconsin Act 208.  The new law in Wisconsin provides that employers generally may not:

  1. Request or require an employee or applicant

A federal district court in California recently held that an employer could subpoena a former employee’s cell phone records as part of discovery in a pending lawsuit.
In Kamalu v. Walmart Stores, Inc., the plaintiff sued her former employer, alleging discrimination on the basis of national origin, race, and sex, and wrongful termination in

Yes – employers can require assignment of employee inventions under Minnesota law, but there are important statutory limitations on that right that employers need to know.  Minnesota law provides that any assignment in the ownership rights of employee inventions may not apply to:

[A]n invention for which no equipment, supplies, facility or trade secret information

Many employers have implemented telecommuting policies and agreements to stay current with human resources trends, take advantage of communication technologies, improve retention and recruiting, and reduce overhead.  Often it has worked brilliantly, with some estimates that 10% of the working population work from home at least one day a week.
But employment lawyers see that

On March 26, 2012, Representative Mary Franson proposed legislation that would make it illegal for employers in Minnesota to require applicants or employees to provide passwords or other account information related to their social networking websites.  The text of the proposed legislation is as follows:

No person, whether acting directly or through an agent, shall

On January 24, 2012, the Office of the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a new report concerning social media cases.  The report discusses fourteen cases relating to social media issues.  Many of the cases include discussion regarding whether an employer’s social media policy is overbroad and, therefore, illegal under the

On January 24, 2012, the Office of the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a new report concerning social media cases.  The new report follows a previous report on the same subject that the NLRB published in August of 2011.  The new report describes fourteen cases involving social-media related issues.  The