Numbers 6 and 5 on our list takes up employee privacy rights and employee disability rights.
6. The Intersection of Privacy and Technology. Quon v. Arch Wireless may not have resolved the issue of employee privacy rights in employer-owned equipment, but it at least framed the scope of the debate: “Cell phone and text message communications are so pervasive that some persons may consider them to be essential means or necessary instruments for self-expression, even self identification. That might strengthen the case for an expectation of privacy. On the other hand, the ubiquity of those devices has made them generally affordable, so one could counter that employees who need cell phones or similar devices for personal matters can purchase and pay for their own. And employer policies concerning communications will of course shape the reasonable expectations of their employees, especially to the extent that such policies are clearly communicated.”
5. Courts Begin to Apply the ADAAA, and No Employer is Safe. The ADA Amendments Act went into effect almost two years ago, on January 1, 2009. Because it is not retroactive, however, its effects are only just starting to be seen in the courts. 2010 was the year that courts began to apply the amended law’s expansive definition of “disability.” The result—virtually no medical condition is safe from being considered a disability protected by the ADA.
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