Pharmacy Liable for Employee’s Illegal Peek at Customer Prescription Records

flirty business man appearing on laptopIn what’s being touted as a national precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a $1.4 million trial court verdict for a Walgreens customer whose prescription information was leaked by a pharmacist to a third party. This may be one of the first times a health care provider was found liable under state negligence law for an employee’s failure to follow the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)—and serves as a cautionary tale for employers in every state. Continue reading

Who Pays for Employee Cell Phone Use?

187625854For many employees, their cell phones are always close at hand, whether at work or in their personal life. But what if the employer requires employees to use their personal cell phones for work-related activities? Then we have a work/personal hybrid situation, and determining what part the employer should reimburse as a work expense becomes tricky. A California court of appeal recently waded into this issue, but not far enough. Continue reading

Volunteers Cause Winery Woes

vinyardVolunteers and for-profit businesses shouldn’t be served together. That lesson has proved to be fatal for a small California winery. Continue reading

You Don’t Own Me—Is it Employer or Employee Social Media Content?

187962221The following is a guest blog post by Olga Savage of Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Olga primarily represents employers in labor and employment law matters.

Many employers have implemented employment contracts and policies that specifically provide that the employer owns all developments, technological or otherwise, by employees during their employment. But what happens when employees have pre-employment social media accounts that they use to develop business during their employment? And what happens when an employee uses his or her pre-existing social media account to market, advertise, and/or develop business for his or her employer? Continue reading

Lessons on Social Media in the Workplace

485226707The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, a partner with Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He’s a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment law issues, and the former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California.

The workplace has certainly been affected by the explosion of social media. Courts and administrative agencies are grappling with complex issues involving employee personal privacy, harassment, defamation, trade secret misappropriation, and union-organizing efforts in the age of social media. Although the rules are far from clear, there is some guidance for employers out there. Continue reading

Get Your Vacation Policy Right, and Then Relax!

455144299Enjoying vacation time this summer? We all need a vacation at some point, and thankfully many employers provide for paid vacation leave. But as with many wage and hour issues, employers get themselves into legal trouble by improperly handling paid vacation. Here’s an overview of pitfalls and a checklist for employers to get their vacation policy right. Continue reading

Opening a Law Practice? Pay Attention to Tax Issues

460413025You’ve decided to open your own law office and are ready for your clients’ cases, but are you also ready to handle the tax issues that go hand-in-hand with running your own business? Continue reading

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