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On Wednesday, crowds converged on the Lincoln Memorial and at other venues around the country and around the world to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr.s Dream speech, made during the 1963 March on Washington. In the fifty years since that famous speech, the way we experience moments that shape history has changed. We are no longer limited to radio, television, newspapers, and news magazines for accounts of important events. This week, people gathered and marched, but were also able to stream live video, tweet, and share their thoughts and images on other social media. This ability to ...
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Given a recent uptick in court rulings enforcing class action waivers, it may be time to revisit whether your company prefers to resolve disputes with employees in court or through arbitration. Class action waivers in arbitration agreements have been gaining in popularity with employers since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an arbitration clause containing a class-action waiver in the AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion case in 2010 and again this year in the American Express Co. v. Italian Restaurants case. These Supreme Court cases involved consumer disputes, but numerous employers ...

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Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes have been in the news and are apparently growing in popularity. The New York Times recently published an online debate on the potential health benefits of e-cigarettes and their potential regulation. Other news outlets have published similar articles.  (see, e.g., here, here, and here). Many employers are wondering how to react to employees who want to use e-cigarettes  at work.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that allow users to inhale nicotine vapors from a heated liquid. Proponents of e-cigarettes argue that they are a safer ...

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Not too long ago a discussion about face recognition technology sounded like something straight out of a futuristic spy thriller. Today, such technology is well into development. The Department of Homeland Security is testing a crowd-scanning program that will allow it to identify the faces of people on the terrorism watch list. In addition, corporate training courses are developing scanning software to detect when trainees are distracted. The technology tracks the users eye movements and when it detects the user looking away for more than a few seconds, it pauses the program and ...
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This week, as in many past weeks, a lot of media attention has been paid to privacy: creating it, protecting it, and invading it. Employees are reported to have been fired or disciplined for recording, revealing or posting the wrong thing. Hackers are worried about government surveillance of their activities, while homeowners are worried about hackers infiltrating their home security systems. Electronic health information systems create new opportunities for health-enhancing information sharing, while simultaneously creating risks to patient privacy and safety ...

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This blog has focused heavily on social media-related issues that arise in the employer/employee relationship and that have been a continual challenge for employers over the last decade. Employment-related social media issues are often close cousins to other important issues created by technology generally and social media specifically. It is crucial for businesses to step back and take a big-picture look at the wide range of social media-related considerations that affect the way they communicate, operate and compete. 
Our firm recently completed a publication that ...
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 Attorneys often counsel and represent clients as they deal with the consequences of their online misdeeds. This week, for example, a fired employee sued his former employer, claiming that his co-workers shocked him with a Taser and posted a video of the Taser session on YouTube. Sometimes it is the attorneys themselves who get into online trouble, and who face discipline for their conduct. It was reported this week that one attorney was disciplined after hacking into a fellow attorneys email account, and another attorney was suspended from the practice of law for five years after ...

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A recently-surfaced Advice Memorandum from the National Labor Boards (NLRBs) Office of the General Counsel opined that an employer social media policy prohibiting employees from photographing or video recording the employers facility unlawfully interfered with employees Section 7 rights. Before you run to revise any policies with a similar prohibition, we encourage you to take a deep breath and consider the consequences.
Many employers serve vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, the intellectually disabled, or those with mental health disabilities. In these ...
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 Some people spend more time with their smartphones than with their friends. This attachment to technology has a number of implications, and not just for a persons social life. This week the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the government can compel a cellphone company to turn over phone location data without establishing probable cause. The court found that location data was admissible as a business record. Elsewhere, Justice Department lawyers asked the Supreme Court to consider a First Circuit Court of Appeals decision that held that police need a warrant to search the ...

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