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Two HIPAA Settlements Follow Stolen Laptops

Recently, HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it has entered into settlement agreements with two entities following enforcement actions, both arising from stolen laptops that were not encrypted in accordance with the Security Rule. According to HHS, an unencrypted laptop was stolen from a physical therapy center in Springfield, Missouri.  The center was … Continue Reading

How Email and Computer Use Policies Can Help (or Hurt) an Employer in Litigation

Employers occasionally find themselves in litigation with current or former employees.  Sometimes an employer-defendant will uncover communications between the plaintiff-employee and her personal attorney or spouse on an employer-owned email or computer system. These communications might ordinarily be privileged, but inadvertent disclosure to a third party–in this case, the employer–could waive the privilege if the … Continue Reading

Social Media and Other Policies Struck Down By NLRB Even for Non-Union Employees

Many employers have been surprised by recent rulings that two common employment policies run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  These rulings apply to policies covering all non-management employees, including employees who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.  Based on a legitimate interest in preserving proprietary business information, confidentiality, and privacy, … Continue Reading

Safer “Bring Your Own Device” Policies: New Guidance from the UK Information Commission’s Office

On 7 March 2013, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued new guidance for employers on the use of personal devices for business purposes.  The guidance is largely informed by a survey commissioned by the ICO and carried out by the market research firm YouGov.  According to the survey, 47 percent of adults in the UK … Continue Reading

New HIPAA / HITECH Rule Requires Health Plan Changes

The HIPAA / HITECH omnibus rule published in the Federal Register late last week includes a number of changes that will require action by employers, health plans, and business associates in the coming months.  The new requirements take effect on March 26, although group health plans and business associates have until September 23, 2013, to … Continue Reading

2013 Preview of Expected Developments in Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

In the coming year, we expect to see continued activity on the part of the agencies and Congress with respect to employee benefits and executive compensation.  The following is a preview of major guidance anticipated in 2013. … Continue Reading

Ex-Employee Is Not Required to Produce iPhone in Discovery

Many companies increasingly allow employees to access work networks on their personal mobile devices. Our colleagues at the InsidePrivacy blog recently described a case in which an employer was not entitled to access a former employee’s personal iPhone during discovery in an employment litigation — and what companies might do to avoid this situation. The … Continue Reading
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