- Recognize the categories of laws that protect workplace privacy, and the limits inherent in their application to questions of employee privacy rights.
- Identify the types of monitoring employers tend to conduct with respect to their employees, and their reasons for engaging in such monitoring.
- Evaluate the competing policy arguments both in favor of, and against, monitoring of employees in the workplace, and off-duty.
- Advise employers about how to craft effective privacy policies and when, and how, to obtain effective consent from employees to monitoring.
- Evaluate the approaches of courts and legislatures in different jurisdictions to creating an acceptable level of workplace privacy.
This course examines the modern realities of privacy in the workplace, covering the kinds of personal information an employer may want to learn about an employee, or prospective employee, as well as the kinds of monitoring an employer may conduct in relation to employees: email monitoring, social media monitoring, drug testing, and even DNA testing. Attention is paid to the use of new technologies, including digital technologies and biotechnological advances, that enable new forms of incursion into employee privacy. The course surveys the current patchwork of American laws that apply to workplace privacy, including principles of constitutional law, tort law, contract law and federal statutes that protect employee privacy. Some comparison is made with laws in other countries, specifically countries of the European Union, as these laws are increasingly relevant to organizations that operate across national borders.