Connecticut Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

Connecticut Privacy: What you need to know

Connecticut recognizes all four categories of common-law invasion of privacy:
• Unreasonable intrusion upon the seclusion of another;
• Appropriation of the other’s name or likeness;
• Unreasonable publicity given to the other’s private life; and
• Publicity that unreasonably places the other in a false light before the public (Goodrich v. Waterbury Republican-American, Inc., 448 A.2d 1317 (Conn. 1982)).
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Connecticut regulates the collection of information on employee activities or communications by computer, telephone, wire, radio, camera, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical systems. Employers that wish to do such monitoring must inform affected employees of the types of monitoring that may occur. It is sufficient to post a conspicuous notice where employees can see it. The law does not prevent employers from monitoring common areas that are for public use. Furthermore, if an employer has reasonable grounds to believe that employees are violating the law, violating the legal rights of the employer or of other employees, or creating a hostile work environment, the employer may monitor without notice (CT Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-48d).
Employees may not bring a lawsuit against their employers for violating this statute. The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that instead, they must bring their cases to the state Labor commissioner (Gerardi v. City of Bridgeport, 985 A.2d 328 (Conn. 2010)). If the Labor commissioner finds that the employer violated the statute, he or she can impose a fine of $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second offense, and $3,000 for the third offense. This is far less than the damages an employer could face ...

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