Employment Privacy Blog

News, commentary, and legal updates from attorneys in the Data Security and Workplace Privacy Practice Group at Fisher Phillips.

Early last year, I posted about tougher, bi-partisan privacy and data security legislation in the works in North Carolina. North Carolina State Representative Jason Saine (R), Senior Appropriations Chair, teamed-up with North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (D) and issued a fact sheet outlining what the new legislation would include.  Finally, on April 16, 2019, Representative Saine (R), Senior Appropriations Chairman, House Deputy Majority Leader Brenden Jones (R), and House Deputy Democratic Leader Robert Reives,…
An amendment to New Jersey’s data breach notification requirements of the Consumer Fraud Act is currently awaiting signature by State Governor Phil Murphy.  The bill, Assembly No. 3245, was recently passed by both the New Jersey Senate and Assembly.  If signed into law as expected, the amendment will expand the definition of personal information to include “user name, email address, or any other account holder identifying information, in combination with any password or security question…
By now, we are all too familiar with the issues and pitfalls associated with cybersecurity breaches in a multitude of industries. Consider Equifax, Home Depot, Yahoo or Target, to name a few. Those well-publicized incidents overwhelmingly concerned customer and/or consumer privacy invasions, but touched barely, if at all, on whether those breaches compromised employees’ private information, or whether those companies should have done more to protect not only their customers’ information, but their employees’ as…
Illinois Supreme Court Ruling: Biometric Privacy Law Only Requires Violation, Not Actual Harm Summary On January 25, 2019, the Illinois State Supreme Court ruled that the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) only requires individuals to show violation of the law to bring suit. Businesses with a presence in Illinois that gather “biometric identifiers”, which include a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or scan of hand or face geometry, are now at a greater…
Don’t Take the Bait!  “Spear Phishing” and “Whaling” Take Scams to the Next Level For several years now, we’ve been alerting employers about the dangers of phishing scams that attempt to obtain private and personal information from employers.  See some of our previous posts here, here here, and here.  Many of these scams rear their ugly head around tax season, with attacks targeting human resources staff and payroll personnel in particular. However,…
While parts of the Government continue to be shut down over concerns about people crossing the border from Mexico into the United States, the cyber borders are at risk. Many government websites are not being monitored or maintained for security. Several websites have been rendered unsecured or inaccessible during the shutdown. For example, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) put approximately 1,500 non-critical employees on furlough, or about 43 percent…
Data Breach Liability for Pennsylvania Employers Expands – Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds that Employers Have a Duty of Care to Protect and Secure Employee Data Data breach liability for Pennsylvania employers of all sizes expanded with a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in Dittman v. UPMC.  __ A.3d __, No. 43 WAP 2017, 2018 WL 6072199 (Pa. 2018).  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has reformed two legal principles that have protected employers against liability when they…
Learn from Lyft—How to Ward Off the Rising Number of Background Check Class Actions Companies are increasingly faced with class actions for alleged violations of one of the “big three” —the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), or the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  Although several thousand of these claims are filed each year, FCRA claims related to background checks is the only category that has grown since last year.…
Most attorneys are well aware of statutory obligations that require private and governmental entities to notify individuals of data breaches that involve the loss or disclosure of personally identifiable information.  An area that may be less clear, however, is what ethical obligations attorneys have to guard against data breaches involving client information and what steps attorneys must take when a data breach occurs. On October 17, 2018, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics…
Are You Carefully Vetting Your Third Party Vendors? If Not, You May Be Buying Yourself a Breach of Privacy Claim   Our client, we’ll call them Company X, provides installation, connection, upgrades and repairs for one of the country’s largest providers of residential and commercial television, telephone and Internet service. We’ll call their customer Company Y.  Pursuant to their contractual agreement, our client (Company X) retained a third party vendor to conduct civil and criminal…