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What arbitrators should know about the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

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Employee Privacy in the Digital Age II. Privacy in the Age of Technology

A panel discussion of employer monitoring of employee computer use, including Internet access. Six scenarios deal with Facebook postings, blogging about workplace conditions, confidential patient identities, unauthorized viewing of another’s smartphone photos, the effect of online postings on promotion, monitoring keystrokes, and accessing computer and cell phone records to discover employee activities unrelated to employment.

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Arbitrator Allen Ponak talks about his recent Canadian cases dealing with employee use andabuse of the Internet and other new technologies and the balance between the employer’s having efficient operations and an employee’s right to privacy. Subjects include non-business online surfing, inappropriate websites, email privacy, the right to blog, the use of biometric identification data …

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New frontiers: Biometric information technology and privacy issues

Biometrics is the automated recognition of individuals based on their behavioral or biological characteristics. It poses privacy concerns and ?big brother? issues for employees. The panelists discuss them.

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Workplace privacy

Hypothetical examples are discussed. (1) A waitress is discharged for rudeness but, in the arbitration, the employer does not present the customer complainants, who want to remain anonymous. (2) A trucking company covertly tapes employees in restrooms, and it is challenged as an invasion of privacy. The company responds that the CBA contains extensive provisions …

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Use of the internet, including email, in the organized Canada workplace, the right of free speech, attacks on the public employer by an employee, and the right of privacy. The compulsory production of electronic communications is discussed.

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Melding external law with the collective bargaining agreement

A description of the various means by which statutory claims may be invoked in a labor arbitration. Arbitrator Bogue recommends methodologies that arbitrators might use to assure a full and accurate development of the statutory issues — one that will withstand the scrutiny of judicial appeal.

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The author describes the dilemmas posed by potentially dangerous employees, and proposes measures that can be taken to address and remedy the dangers. Recommendations are given for the approach arbitrators might take. The Post Office shooting at Royal Oak, Michigan is analyzed.

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Privacy in the workplace: International perspectives

Privacy in the workplace – drug testing, employee surveillance, searches, screening, physical exams, polygraphs, etc. – in Belgium, Israel and France are examined in this panel discussion.

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The authors describe the usefulness of electronic surveillance, the judicial endorsement of its use (except where in violation of the ECPA), the constraint of “unreasonable search and seizure” for public employees, and the admissibility of such evidence and of workplace searches in cases of employee misconduct (even where the evidence is obtained in violation of …

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