Tagged: Electronic Communications

NLRB Rules Employees “Presumptively Permitted” to Use Employer Email Systems for Statutorily Protected Communications 0

NLRB Rules Employees “Presumptively Permitted” to Use Employer Email Systems for Statutorily Protected Communications

On December 11, 2014, in Purple Communications, Inc. and Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Cases 21-CA-095151, 21-RC-091532, and 21-RC-091584, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board” or “NLRB”) held that “employee use of email for statutorily protected communications on nonworking time must presumptively be permitted by employers who have chosen to give employees access to their email systems.”

A New Jersey Federal Court Holds that the Stored Communications Act Applies to “Wall Posts” on Facebook 0

A New Jersey Federal Court Holds that the Stored Communications Act Applies to “Wall Posts” on Facebook

The Federal Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2701, et seq. (“SCA”), makes it unlawful to, among other things, “intentionally access[] without authorization a facility through which an electronic communication service is provided.” Violators are subject to imprisonment and fines, and the statute expressly authorizes a civil action for damages, injunctive relief and attorneys fees. A federal court in New Jersey has now held that the statute may apply to those who access information posted by a Facebook account holder on his or her Facebook “wall.” The defendant-employer in the case, Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp. (“MONOC”), was able to avoid liability under the SCA because the plaintiff could not establish that her employer violated the “without authorization” component of the statute. Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp. But the case puts employers on notice that they must tread carefully in this area.

Pennsylvania Court Orders Plaintiff to Disclose Facebook and MySpace Passwords, User Names, and Log in Names to Defendant 0

Pennsylvania Court Orders Plaintiff to Disclose Facebook and MySpace Passwords, User Names, and Log in Names to Defendant

A Pennsylvania trial court recently became one of a growing number of courts to rule that a plaintiff’s non-public Facebook and MySpace postings are discoverable. On May 19, 2011, in Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, Inc., No. CV-09-1535, 2011 WL 2065410 (Pa. Comm. Pl. May 19, 2011) the Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania granted the defendant’s motion to compel the plaintiff, a former employee of the defendant, to disclose his Facebook and MySpace passwords, user names and log in names. Notably, the Court reasoned that because the plaintiff voluntarily posted all of the pictures and information on his Facebook and MySpace sites, he had no reasonable expectation of privacy to the postings although the posts were on non-public pages.

NLRB “Facebook Firing” Case Ends with Settlement 0

NLRB “Facebook Firing” Case Ends with Settlement

The highly publicized “Facebook firing” case, brought by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and discussed in a November 12, 2010 post in the Employment Law Alert, ended with a settlement announced on February 7, 2011. According to the Complaint, American Medical Response of Connecticut Inc. (“AMR”) terminated an employee for criticizing her boss on her Facebook account.

Employer Social Media Policies:  The Dangers of Too Much Or Not Enough 0

Employer Social Media Policies: The Dangers of Too Much Or Not Enough

Employers wanting to prohibit damaging communications from being made about them by employees through blogging and rapidly evolving social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn should be aware of a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Complaint against American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc. asserting that two of the more common employer restrictions on employee blogging and social media communications constitute unfair labor practices and are, therefore, unlawful. In its News Release, the NLRB pointed to two of the provisions in the company’s blogging and internet posting policies as being unlawful under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Legal Hold Best Practices after Victor Stanley II, Pension Committee and Rimkus 0

Legal Hold Best Practices after Victor Stanley II, Pension Committee and Rimkus

Relevance. Scienter. Prejudice. These three themes permeated a roundtable discussion entitled “Legal Hold Best Practices after Victor Stanley II, Pension Committee and Rimkus” during Gibbons Fourth Annual E-Discovery Conference on October 28, 2010, at Gibbons headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. A distinguished panel discussed legal hold best practices and lessons learned from recent decisions, including proactive measures and creative strategies for companies of all sizes to meet their e-discovery obligations. E-discovery preservation obligations have been a critical issue in employment litigation since Judge Scheindlin’s groundbreaking opinion in Zubulake v. UBS Warburg (in which the defendant/employer was sanctioned for failing to preserve documents in a sex discrimination case brought under Title VII).