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On November 8, 2012, we conducted a Labor and Employment Seminar: Technology and the Employment Relationship -- The new frontier. Following are the top three takeaways, including important action items that have the potential to save your business time and money in the long run.

1. Social media is on everyone’s radar, including the NLRB    

  • The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently stepped up its enforcement efforts relative to non-union employers by issuing several key decisions striking down social media policies that it considers overly broad. Employers need to walk a tightrope when creating and implementing a social media policy that governs appropriate use of social media in the workplace, limits privacy expectations, and yet does not restrict an employee’s ability to engage in concerted protected activity.
  • Action item: Review electronic communications and social media policies to ensure legal compliance.

  2. Four more years of government investigations 

  • With a legislature that is once again in gridlock, governmental agencies are advancing their internal agendas by increasing the number of employer investigations and aggressively promulgating rules that will require employers to take a proactive approach to legal compliance. Employers that do not take an active approach to compliance, put themselves at risk for back pay and damages as the result of non-compliance.
  • Action items:  
    • Conduct a wage and hour compliance audit
    • Implement a background check policy, including the appropriate use of criminal history and credit information in employment decisions
    • Review and revise inflexible leave of absence policies

  3. Approximately 567 million records reportedly have been compromised since 20051 - Is your company protected?  

  • Virtually every company is at risk of a data security breach because virtually every company collects and/or maintains personal information either related to its customers, its employees, or both. As data security breaches are both pervasive and expensive, it is incumbent on all businesses to take meaningful action to reduce their chances of suffering a data security breach in the first place and to limit their exposure to a data security breach should they be unfortunate enough to suffer one through the implementation of a formal incident response plan.
  • Action items: 
    • Conduct a Data Privacy and Network Security Review to determine your organization’s risk of exposure and compliance with the numerous state and federal data privacy regulations.
    • Form an Incident Response Team responsible for data privacy incidents and breaches and document responsibilities in an Incident Response Plan.

1Source: Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, last visited November 14, 2012.