As companies in the United States work to re-open physical workplaces, they must navigate an array of federal, state, and local laws that relate to employees, including requirements to keep workplaces safe while protecting employee privacy. Hogan Lovells partner Harriet Pearson contributed to a timely memorandum published on May 13 by the HR Policy Association. This memorandum is made available in this blog post.
Please join us on Thursday, March 19 for a one-hour webinar discussion during which Partners from Hogan Lovells’ Employment and Privacy and Cybersecurity practices will be making some global observations on employment issues our clients are facing and highlighting the specific impact coronavirus is having for employers, including with respect to data privacy.
Please join us for our November 2017 Privacy and Cybersecurity Events.
According to the German Federal Labor Court, Germany’s highest court for employment disputes, German employers are not allowed to monitor employees in the workplace without a concrete suspicion of a criminal violation or, in some cases, a serious breach of duty. This means that employer monitoring of an employee’s computer usage without a concrete suspicion, including the use of keylogging software that records all keyboard entries made at a desktop computer does not comply with German data privacy laws. Courts may exclude evidence obtained under violation of German data privacy laws from their proceedings.
Part 11 of Future-Proofing Privacy: Data Protection in the Workplace. Modern technology offers advanced technical options to monitor employee performance and conduct. Even standard IT applications may be used to control or record personnel behaviour in the workplace. Where previously the degree of employee supervision was limited by what the technology could do, rapid technological advancements mean that data protection laws are now the principal limitation in the EU. The Regulation is due to play a major role in this respect. As a consequence, employee data privacy has been one of the most hotly debated aspects of the Regulation. This area of data privacy will remain less harmonised than other fields of data protection.