New Jersey Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

New Jersey Privacy: What you need to know

Invasion of privacy. New Jersey 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 (Bisbee v. John C. Conover Agency, Inc., 452 A.2d 689 (App. Div. 1982)). Additional information on these common law rights of privacy is available.
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As technology has become more pervasive in the workplace, disputes have arisen regarding whether an employee has privacy rights in personal information sent or communicated on employer equipment. New Jersey courts have provided some guidance for employers.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that under some circumstances, employees' attorney-client communications made using the company's computer system are protected by the attorney-client privilege and cannot be accessed by the employer (Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., 990 A.2d 650 (NJ 2010)). In this case, an employee used a company-owned laptop to access a personal, password-protected e-mail account through which she communicated with her attorney about work issues. Soon afterward, the employee quit her job and sued her employer for discrimination. With the help of a computer forensics expert, the employer retrieved and read the e-mails between the employee and her attorneys. The employee claimed that these e-mails were protected by attorney-client privilege. The employer asserted that its policy provided that the company had the right to access all material on its media systems and services.
The Supreme Court ...

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