District of Columbia Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

District of Columbia Privacy: What you need to know

The District of Columbia recognizes all four common-law invasion-of-privacy claims:
• Intrusion upon solitude or seclusion;
• Public disclosure of private facts (e.g., unreasonable publicity given to one's private life);
• False light privacy (e.g., publicity that normally places the other in a false light before the public); and
• Appropriation of one's name or likeness (Dresbach v. Doubleday & Co., 518 F. Supp. 1285 (D.D.C. 1981)).
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Wiretapping. District law prohibits intercepting or procuring any wire or oral communication individually or through another person, with certain exceptions. For example, the “business extension exception” allows employers to monitor communications that are carried out with certain kinds of equipment in the ordinary course of business. In addition, the law is not violated if a person is a party to the communication or prior consent is given. Violations of this law may result in a fine of up to $10,000, 5 years in prison, or both (D.C. Code § 23-541 et seq.).
Video surveillance. District law restricts the use of video recorders and other electronic devices (D.C. Code § 22-3531). The law makes it illegal for any person, including employers, to occupy a hidden observation post or to install or maintain an electronic device for the purpose of secretly observing an individual who is using a bathroom or restroom, totally or partially undressed or changing clothes, or engaging in sexual activity.
It is also illegal to electronically record, without express and informed consent, a person who is engaging in these activities. However, express and informed consent is required only when the individual engaged in these activities has a reasonable ...

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