North Carolina Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

North Carolina Privacy: What you need to know

North Carolina recognizes only two of the four common-law claims for invasion of privacy: appropriation of one's likeness and intrusion upon seclusion. Public disclosure of private facts and publicity that places another in a false light to the public eye are not recognized. The North Carolina Supreme Court recognizes a general right to privacy as a part of tort law. However, the court has been unwilling to recognize two of the four invasion of privacy claims because it feels that they would add to the tension existing between the First Amendment and tort law (Hall v. Post, 372 S.E.2d 711 (N.C. 1988)).
A state statute does prohibit the “publication of personal information” if the subject of the information has objected to such disclosure. The law applies to disclosures in writing, by broadcast media, and on the Internet. The victim of such a violation may sue for damages if any harm results. The law exempts entities already covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy requirements (NC Gen. Stat. Sec. 75-66).
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Generally, all information contained in a school employee’s personnel file is confidential and may not be opened for inspection and examination, except in certain specific circumstances. A public official or employee who knowingly, willfully, and with malice permits any person to have access to information contained in personnel files is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and may be fined up to $500. Any person not specifically authorized to have access to a personnel file who knowingly and willfully examines such a file in its official filing place or who removes or copies any portion of the file may also be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor (NC ...

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