Missouri Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

Missouri Privacy: What you need to know

Common law. Missouri allows individuals to sue for invasion of privacy (Sullivan v. Pulitzer Broadcasting Co., 709 S.W.2d 475 (Mo. 1986)). Courts in Missouri have discussed the following four potential types of invasion of privacy:
• Intrusion on one's seclusion or private affairs;
• Public disclosure of embarrassing private facts;
• Publicly placing one in a false light; and
• Appropriation of one's name or likeness.
A state appeals court allowed an employee to proceed to trial on a “false light” claim when he alleged that the company listed him as the registrant on a controversial new website after he had left employment there (Meyerkord v. Zipatoni Co., 276 S.W.3d 319 (Mo. Ct. App. 2008)).
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Social Security numbers (SSNs). Missouri law restricts the use of SSNs by employers (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 407.1355). Employers may only use an employee's SSN for state and federal tax purposes. The law specifically prohibits private employers from doing any of the following:
• Publicly posting or displaying in any manner an individual's SSN (publicly posting or displaying is defined as intentionally communicating or otherwise making available to the general public or to an individual's coworkers);
• Requiring an individual to transmit his or her SSN over the Internet, unless the connection is secure or the SSN is encrypted;
• Requiring an individual to use his or her SSN to access an Internet website, unless a password, unique personal identification number, or other authentication device is also required;
• Requiring an individual to use his or her SSN as an employee number for any type of employment-related activity; or
• Requiring an individual to use the last four digits of his or her SSN ...

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