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Briefing The Cost Club Senior Regional Staff

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Autor:   •  October 7, 2011  •  860 Words (4 Pages)  •  817 Views

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Employee Privacy

* Public sector employees are protected by the Constitution from governmental intrusion and excess

o The Fourth Amendment - Protects against unreasonable search and seizure

 Formal written notice of intent to search without notice should be given prior to searching any employer-owned property

o The 5th and 14th Amendments - The state may not restrict rights of government employees' unless it is justified

o The Privacy Act of 1974 - Regulates the release of personal information about federal employees by federal agencies.

o Employees are granted two options of relief: criminal penalties and civil remedies, including damages and injunctive relief.

* Private sector employees may be afforded protection either by common law or statute on a state-by-state basis

o State legislatures have to the issue of private sector employee privacy

o Common law identifies torts as it relates to invasion of privacy in the private sector: intrusion into solitude or seclusion, the publication of private information, and publication that places another in a false light.

* Allowable monitoring includes: telephone calls in connection with quality control, e-mail messages, voice mail system messages, and Internet use on company resources

* Genetic Non-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on genetic information with regards to health insurance and employment and provides a series of privacy provisions prohibiting the collection of genetic information.

o Employers can collect genetic information if health or genetic services are offered, certain information is needed to comply with certification provisions of FMLA or with state family and medical leave laws, information is learned through public documentation, or where necessary to monitor the effects of toxic substances in the workplace.

* State or local laws may prohibit or limit drug testing in the workplace.

o Publish company policies if drug testing will be used in the workplace

o Drug testing can be considered an invasion of privacy and legality of drug testing relies on the reliability and effectiveness of the testing procedure itself

Employee Unions

* The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) encourages collective bargaining, protects the rights of employees to form, join, decertify, or assist a labor organization, and to join together to improve terms and conditions of employment through concerted activity.

o Employers cannot interfere with employees in their rights to form, join, or assist a labor organization for collective bargaining, or from concerted activity.

o Leading allegations in complaints issued include employer failure to bargain, and illegal actions against employees for protected activity.

o Penalties cannot be assessed however reinstatement and back pay of discharged employees and information remedies may be imposed.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

* Private sector employers and employees in all states, the District of Columbia, and other U.S. jurisdictions come under OSHA's jurisdiction

* Federal agencies must meet the same standards as the private sector and although they cannot be fined, they are monitored and respond to workers' complaints

* Adequate safety measures must be taken involving the physical layout of the worksite

o Proper ventilation where necessary, adequate means of emergency exit if the need arises, guard rails, safety nets

* Employees must be trained and informed regarding protective measures

o Continual training every time an employee is hired or transferred to a new position, even if for a short time

* Medical examinations must be provided by the employer where the employee has been exposed to toxic substances

* Inspection resources focused on the most hazardous workplaces

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

* Covers two basic types of plans:


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