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Articles by James E. Hall, Mark T. Kobata and Marty Denis

Privacy Concerns and Employee Surveillance

Employees may have enforceable privacy interests in work areas, such as enclosed offices where they work, changing rooms and lockers accessible only to the employee. While searches or surveillance of work areas can be defended with legitimate cause, employers should consider policies and procedures to alert employees to the employer's reserved right to conduct such surveillance. Even then, surreptitious photographing of employees should be carefully limited.
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Recent Settlements Should Alert Employers

Two settlements provide examples of preventive measures that an employer should consider taking to avoid litigation. In addition to paying employees for all hours worked and making rest and meal breaks available where required by law, electronic tracking programs may provide for increased accuracy of time recording. Employers should also ensure that their employee handbooks and policies are updated regularly to comply with the law, and that employees, management and human resources personnel are aware of employee rights and responsibilities.
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Disparate Impact Versus Disparate Treatment

Employers are advised that once a selection system is in place, it should be followed in the absence of evidence that the process violates the disparate-impact provisions of Title VII. Employers should consider adopting a fair system for awarding promotions, ensure the process is job-related and defensible, and evaluate alternative methods based on appropriateness and the impact on protected groups.
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