The Changing Face of Workplace Privacy

Increased use of social media has continued to catapult workplace privacy to the forefront of employment law.  As the line that used to separate conduct at home from the workplace continues to fade, more and more employees are finding out one “tweet” too late that their actions are no longer exempt from discipline.
In the Metro, Daniel Lublin provides a workplace privacy cheat sheet to help employees navigate through any uncertainty.  Here are a few key points from the topics he covers in the article:
Medical History: Employers do not have the right to your entire medical history.  When requesting leave, all you need to provide is your date of return and required accommodations.
Facebook and Twitter: Online comments, whether done at home or in the workplace hold the potential for discipline, so be mindful of what you post.
References: “When you provide the name of a reference to a prospective employer, you implicitly provide permission to contact him or her” and will likely be unsuccessful in suing over an unfavourable reference.
Surveillance: Hidden cameras and surveillance are allowable if there is a reasonable basis to justify it.
Workplace Computers: Though employees lack privacy on workplace computers, a recent Ontario ruling indicates that employers have no right to information on personal devices given to employees.  (Read more about this decision *here*)
If you still have questions about workplace privacy or are concerned about whether your actions could lead to dismissal, contact Whitten and Lublin.