Virginia Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

Virginia Privacy: What you need to know

Common law. There are traditionally four invasion of privacy claims recognized by state courts, namely, intrusion upon solitude or seclusion; public disclosure of private facts; false light privacy; and appropriation of one's name or likeness. However, Virginia only recognizes a civil claim for the unauthorized use for advertising or trade purposes of a person's name, portrait, or picture without first obtaining consent (Va. Code § 8.01-40).
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Personal identifying information. Employers, with some exceptions, may not be required to release, communicate, or distribute any current or former employees’ personal identifying information to third parties (Va. Code § 40.1-28.7:4). “Personal identifying information” includes home and mobile telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, shift times, or work schedules. However, the law does not apply to releases, communications, or distributions of personal identifying information that are:
• Required by federal law that preempts the state law or under a state law that requires an employer to release, communicate, or distribute personal identifying information;
• Ordered by a court;
• Required pursuant to a warrant; or
• Required by a subpoena or by discovery in a civil case.
Social Security numbers (SSNs). Virginia law restricts the use of Social Security numbers (SSNs). Specifically, any person or employer in Virginia is prohibited from:
• Intentionally communicating an individual's SSN to the general public;
• Printing an individual's SSN on any card required to access or receive products or services;
• Requiring the use of a SSN to access an Internet website unless a password or other security device is used; or
• Mailing a package with the ...

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