As we previously reported here in March 2020, the implementation of remote work policies heightens the risk of misappropriation of trade secrets in remote work environments and could require businesses to take additional steps to ensure the security of their trade secrets and confidential information. In the last few years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has charged several individuals with insider trading after they misappropriated material, nonpublic information obtained as a result of their remote work environment.[1] Most recently, a man was charged with insider trading after misappropriating trade secrets he obtained by listening to his wife’s[2] business calls while the two worked from home.Continue Reading Lesson Learned: Man Charged with Insider Trading After Misappropriating Information from Wife’s Work-From-Home Calls

Beginning on March 12, 2024, a new social media privacy law for employees and job applicants goes into effect in New York. The new law will amend the New York Labor Law (the “NYLL”) to restrict most employers from accessing the personal social media accounts of employees and job applicants. The new restrictions were approved when Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law two bills, Assembly Bill 836 (A836) and Senate Bill 2518A (S2518A), on September 14, 2023.Continue Reading Safe for Work? New Social Media Privacy Law Affecting New York Employers Goes into Effect on March 12

Our proximity and “close contact” with other humans is on the front lines in the war against coronavirus.  Yet tracking 6 feet of distance from every human we encounter for a 14 day period is nearly impossible without the help of technology like contact-tracing apps.  Although many privacy and employment laws designed to protect employee rights have been temporarily relaxed during the pandemic, employers must consider and resolve employee privacy issues created by contact-tracing apps.  As businesses forge roadmaps to reopen, these apps offer innovative solutions to meet legal requirements imposed by OSHA and Centers for Disease Control.  This article explores what employers need to know about contact-tracing apps including how they work, the laws that govern, the impact to employee privacy, consent, and ways to mitigate risk associated with contact-tracing apps.
Continue Reading Up Close & Personal: Contact-Tracing Apps & Employee Privacy

For the first time, the Supreme Court has agreed to review the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The Court’s initial review of the CFAA comes in the wake of a federal circuit split as to whether the statute can only be deployed against hackers and unauthorized users of electronic systems, or also against authorized users who use the information for unauthorized purposes. The Court’s decision may significantly affect not only how law enforcement uses the CFAA, but also whether civil litigants, such as employers, may use the CFAA to defend against unauthorized employee activities.
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Case Preview—Van Buren v. United States: Does Use of a Computer for an “Improper Purpose” Violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

The legalization of recreational use of marijuana in several states, including California, has left many employment policies vague and confused. This article offers insights to questions every employer should be asking in light of legalization.

California’s Rollout of Legal Marijuana

California voters passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“Prop 64”) on November 8, 2016, legalizing recreational marijuana use. However, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control only began accepting, processing, and issuing licenses to commercial marijuana dispensaries as of January 1, 2018. As of April 2018, the Bureau has granted over 5,000 licenses for a variety of commercial uses, including retail sales and distribution.
Continue Reading It’s High Time to Update Your Marijuana Policies

In recent years, the use of biometrics in business has been growing. In the employment context, for example, some employers use biometric time clocks, which allow employees to “clock in” with a fingerprint or iris scan. Unlike a password or social security number, however, an individual’s biometric identifier or information cannot be changed or replaced if compromised. In the event of a data breach, individuals may have no recourse against identity theft, due to the biologically unique nature of biometrics.
Continue Reading Actual Injury Required to Sue Under Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act