Iowa Employment Law Blog

Iowa Employment Law Blog

Alert and inform about legal issues, risks, and solutions relating to employees

Published By Patrick D. Smith

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Iowa Legislature Toughens Drug Testing Law, But Legal Risks for Employers Remain

Posted in Employee Privacy, Human Resources Compliance

In the last two sessions, the Iowa legislature has amended Iowa’s private sector drug testing law to give employers additional tools to combat employee substance abuse.   In last year’s session, the legislature amended the law to allow employers to use hair follicle testing for pre-employment drug screens.  Prior to the amendment, the law allowed only… Continue Reading

Facebook Firings and Social Media A Top Priority for NLRB Enforcement

Posted in Employee Privacy, Human Resources Compliance, Labor, Social Networking

Last August the National Labor Relations Board Acting General Counsel issued a report detailing the outcome of investigations into 14 cases involving employee use of social media and social media policies.  A second report issued January 24 on the same subject underscores that social media remains a top NLRB enforcement priority.   In the preface of… Continue Reading

E-mail as Evidence Isn’t Everything

Posted in Employee Privacy, Human Resources Compliance, Litigation and Trials

One of the biggest worries of lawyers defending against employee lawsuits is the stray statement in an e-mail that can be blown up or taken out of context.    We are constantly warning clients that, before they click "send",  they should think about how an e-mail will look to a jury.  However, the recent acquittal of two former… Continue Reading

Social Networking and Background Checks

Posted in Employee Privacy, Social Networking

A post in today’s HR Daily Advisor poses the question whether an employer is better or worse off using internet social networking sites as a means of performing background checks on  prospective employees.    On one hand, the internet is an inexpensive and easy way of getting information about a person’s background and character.  Given the risks… Continue Reading

LinkedIn and Lawsuits–Should You Be Concerned?

Posted in Employee Privacy, Social Networking

There is an interesting debate occurring in the legal blogosphere concerning LinkedIn, a popular business social networking site.   It started with an article a couple of weeks ago in the National Law Journal, where management side lawyers were quoted giving warnings about the dangers of  using LinkedIn to provide recommendations to current or former employees.  … Continue Reading

Text Harassment?

Posted in Employee Privacy, Sex Discrimination, Social Networking

 The National Law Journal reports today that text messages are becoming a growing liability concern for employers.    Offensive and inappropriate texts are increasingly being used as evidence in sexual harassment cases.  According to the article, the main culprit is male bosses sending scandalous messages to female subordinates asking them on dates or making promises in… Continue Reading

Mid-Summer Employment Law Update

Posted in Employee Privacy, Human Resources Compliance, Labor, Social Networking, Title VII, U.S. Supreme Court

Between a busy trial schedule and the other distractions of summer, we have been a little delinquent in keeping you up to date during the past couple of weeks.  We apologize for the inactivity on the blog, as there have been many developments in the employment law world since our last posting at the end… Continue Reading

Are Social Networking Sites Private?

Posted in Employee Privacy

Chances are your employees have sites on Facebook, MySpace, or some other online social networking site.   It is not uncommon for these employees to post statements or photographs on those sites that are derogatory of their boss, their workplace, or their colleagues.  Sometimes people post statements or explicit photographs that embarrass themselves, and by extension, you, as… Continue Reading