Practice Areas

Employee Privacy, Data Protection & Social Media

New and emerging technologies, together with legislation, government regulatory actions and court decisions, are creating complex challenges for employers.

In an era of instant transfers of sensitive data about employees and job applicants, technology-assisted background checks, and pervasive social media activity by employees, Mitchell Williams lawyers advise employers on how to successfully navigate the web of privacy and data protection issues in a technology-driven workplace.

Our lawyers help clients avoid costly civil litigation and government-enforcement actions, not to mention the loss of goodwill and negative publicity that can accompany privacy-based disputes.

We advise employers on:

  • The lawful use of background checks for employment purposes, including lawful review of job applicant’s Internet activity and social media profile

  • Avoiding legal missteps when reviewing employees' social media postings and other electronic communications

  • Developing drug and alcohol testing policies and employee assistance agreements which protect an employer and honor the privacy rights of employees

  • Reducing the risk of a workplace security breach and responding appropriately when one occurs

  • Advising on compliance with laws and regulations governing employee health information, including HIPAA, the HITECH Act, the ADA and GINA

  • Developing policies to regulate the use of technologies such as social media, location tracking, data loss prevention software, and e-mail and Internet monitoring applications

  • Policies governing data security and employee conduct while using employer-provided electronic systems and devices

  • Compliance with international data protection laws to ensure the lawful collection, use, and transfer of information about overseas employees

  • Negotiating outsourcing contracts that protect the employer when third-party service providers breach employee confidentiality

  • Defending claims alleging a privacy or security breach

  • Navigating First Amendment protections that apply to public employees