Category Archives: Workplace Confidentiality

Balancing Undue Hardship and Reasonable Accommodation with Employees Using Medical Marijuana Lights Up in Massachusetts Court

In a recent case, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (the “SJC”) held that medical marijuana may constitute a “reasonable accommodation” for employees.  As a result, employers may not terminate employees for failing drug tests if the employees fall within that protection – provided the accommodation does not pose an undue hardship for the employer. Case background:  In Barbuto v. Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, July 17, 2017),   SJC considered whether an employer had violated the Massachusetts anti-discrimination statute, M.G.L. c. § 151B, by terminating an employee who had failed a drug test for using marijuana at …

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Takeaways for Employers on the Hillary E-mail Debacle

5 Reasons Employers Should Prohibit Employees From Using Personal Email Accounts Recently, a political firestorm has erupted as news stories revealed that Former Secretary of State (and likely Presidential Candidate) Hillary Clinton utilized private e-mail accounts to conduct government business during her tenure as Secretary of State.  Pundits from the left, right, and center have weighed in on the political impact of Clinton’s e-mail practices.  But putting politics aside, as the story of Clinton’s e-mail usage unfolds, employers should be asking if it is a good idea to allow their employees to send work-related e-mails on private e-mail accounts.  In …

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Fourth Circuit Removes Powerful Weapon From Employer’s Arsenal

As I have previously written, several courts have allowed employers to assert claims against former employees under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030.  That statute, which was originally enacted to combat computer hackers, imposes civil and criminal penalties when someone accesses a person’s computer “without authorization” or in excess of “authorized access.”  It is a favorite of employers because it provides federal court jurisdiction and potentially exposes employees to criminal penalties. Courts allowing a CFAA claim against disloyal employees have reasoned that, when a soon-to-be former employee accesses company information for his or her personal …

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