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Picture this: you are in charge of interviewing candidates for a new position at your company. You have asked the applicant all of the basic background questions and you did your due diligence before she arrived by Googling her and seeing what information you could find about her on the internet. When you were searching her name on the internet, you came across her Facebook page, but the information on her profile was not publicly available. You want to look at her Facebook profile and ask her for her username and password during the interview so that you can properly vet her as a candidate. Can you do this? Can she say no? Does it matter what type of job she is applying for?
I’ll admit it. I am addicted to Storage Wars, the quasi-reality show that pits a cast of regular characters (who are far from regular) against each other, bidding at auctions for abandoned storage units. On a recent cross-country flight, I must have watched four consecutive hours (eight episodes), repeatedly getting hooked into each episode by the prospect that the newly-acquired units contain treasures like a baseball card collection, a dusty Stradivarius, or grandma’s old gold necklaces.
I got a call from a manager who wanted to fire an employee. I asked “why?” of course. In response, I heard a credible and comprehensive description of a litany of performance and behavior problems that the employee had exhibited over the years, climaxing in recent weeks. I thought to myself, “this should be an easy one.” But just to be on the safe side, and as I usually do, I asked to see the employee’s personnel record. When I received it, however, I saw not a shred of evidence of the pervasive problems that the client had just described. In fact, the only indication of the employee’s performance was a series of annual reviews reflecting that he was either meeting or exceeding expectations in nearly every regard.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This principle is on display in the Massachusetts data security regulations (201 CMR 17.00), which require companies to protect personal information not only by implementing their own safeguards, but also by forcing companies to fortify the other links in the chain by having their vendors sign contracts committing to do the same. When the regulations went in to effect on March 1, 2010, they grandfathered existing contracts with vendors, meaning that these contracts were not required to contain the data security assurances. But the grandfathering ends on March 1, 2012.
On December 27, 2011 the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations pertaining to companionship services and live-in domestic services.
Though tax day is not until April 17th, most employers are focused on January 31, 2012. This is the day when every employer engaged in a trade or business who pays remuneration, including noncash payments, of $600 or more for the year for services performed by an employee, must give employees Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement reflecting information about:
Independent Contractor or Employee?
Note: Since this article was written, the NLRB’s Notice-Posting Rule was placed on hold. Employers are NOT required to post the notice of NLRA rights on April 30, 2012. Click HERE for more information.
Don’t Forget the ADAAA’s Reasonable Accommodation Requirement!
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