California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Computer and Internet Use

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Actors’ Ages to Remain Available Online (At Least for Now)

A federal court has granted IMDb’s request for a preliminary injunction to allow the entertainment website to keep actors’ ages in their online profiles – despite the enactment of a statute in California prohibiting same. The lawsuit, IMDb.com, Inc. v. Becerra (Case No. 16-cv-06535-VC) was filed in response to the passage of A.B. 1687, which required … Continue Reading

CA Governor Signs Bill Allowing Actors to Delete Their Age from Online Profiles

On September 24, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1687 – a measure aimed at preventing age discrimination against film, television, and other professionals in the entertainment industry whose ages could be viewed by casting directors and other potential employers.  As a result of this bill, industry professionals whose profiles are listed on commercial … Continue Reading

Former Employee Who Accessed Employer’s Computers Was Properly Imprisoned

United States v. Nosal, 2016 WL 3608752 (9th Cir. 2016) In this criminal proceeding brought under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), the United States government filed a criminal indictment against David Nosal (a former employee of Korn/Ferry International) as a result of his obtaining information from Korn/Ferry’s computer system for the purpose of … Continue Reading

Federal Court Dismisses Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim That Was Filed Against Our Clients

Here’s a recent victory we obtained on behalf of our clients SunEdison, Inc., et al. The individual defendants (then-current employees of SunPower, Inc.) were alleged to have violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by connecting USB devices to SunPower’s computer system and allegedly copying data. U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick granted … Continue Reading

New California Law Protects Employee Use of Social Media

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new law protecting employee use of social media by prohibiting an employer from requiring or requesting an employee or applicant for employment to disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing the employee’s personal social media.  Additionally, an employer may not require an employee or applicant … Continue Reading

Employees Did Not Violate Federal Statute By Misappropriating Employer’s Computer Data

United States v. Nosal, 676 F.3d 854 (2012) (en banc) In this criminal proceeding brought under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), the United States government filed a 20-count indictment against David Nosal (a former employee of Korn/Ferry International) and his accomplices (also from Korn/Ferry) as a result of their obtaining information from their … Continue Reading

New Government-Created SmartPhone “App” Now Available For Use As “iEvidence” To Assist Employees In Wage Disputes

As the federal government wades deeper into the realm of mobile "apps" (among the most useful, of course, the Smithsonian Institution’s “MEanderthal” app, which enables users to morph personal photos into prehistoric images of themselves), various U.S. agencies are promoting new apps that allow the public to access official information from “the palm of [one’s] … Continue Reading

The State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section Presents 2011 Employment Law Update: A Mid-Year Review of Recent Developments

On Wednesday, June 22, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Anthony Oncidi of Proskauer and plaintiff-side attorney, Andrew Friedman of Helmer Friedman LLP, will summarize the latest developments and discuss the practical implications of this year’s most significant employment decisions. Among other developments, attendees will hear about the new U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding the “cat’s … Continue Reading

Employees May Have Committed A Crime By Violating Employer’s Computer Use Policy

U.S. v. Nosal, 642 F.3d 781 (2011) In this criminal proceeding brought under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), the United States government filed a 20-count indictment against David Nosal (a former employee of Korn/Ferry International) and his accomplices (also from Korn/Ferry) as a result of their obtaining information from their employer’s computer system … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Reviews NLRB’s Controversial Register Guard E-Mail Solicitation Decision

As we reported previously, in December 2007 the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision relating to company e-mail policies in The Guard Publishing Company, d/b/a The Register-Guard, 351 NLRB No. 70 (2007), holding that an employer (i) may restrict the use of its computer systems to business related uses only, and (ii) could distinguish … Continue Reading

Swine Flu: Is Your Workplace Prepared?

As of this writing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 109 cases of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, in the United States. The World Health Organization has confirmed 331 cases of swine flu worldwide and has raised the pandemic threat level to Phase 5 on its six-step scale (Phase … Continue Reading

Police Officer Had Reasonable Expectation Of Privacy In Text Messages Sent And Received On Pager

Quon v. Arch Wireless Operating Co., 529 F.3d 892 (9th Cir. 2008) Arch Wireless contracted to provide wireless text-messaging services for the City of Ontario, including its police department. Pursuant to the city’s general Computer Usage, Internet and E-mail Policy, the use of the city’s computers and other electronic equipment, networks, etc., was limited to city-related … Continue Reading

Court Upholds $775,000 Jury Award Against Employees Who Libeled Former Employer And Company Executives

Varian Med. Sys., Inc. v. Delfino, 113 Cal. App. 4th 273, 6 Cal.Rptr.3d 325 (2003) Varian and two of its executives, George Zdasiuk and Susan B. Felch, sued two former employees, Michelangelo Delfino and Mary Day, after Delfino and Day used Internet bulletin boards to post more than 13,000 derogatory messages about Varian and the two executives. … Continue Reading

Employer’s Anti-SLAPP Motion Against Employee Was Properly Denied

Du Charme v. IBEW, Local 45, 110 Cal. App. 4th 107 (2003) Frank Du Charme sued the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 45 and Cecil Wynn, the individual who was assigned to operate Local 45 after it was placed in trusteeship in conjunction with an investigation into its financial operations. Among other things, … Continue Reading

Employee Did Not Trespass By Sending Thousands Of E-Mails To Former Employer

Intel Corp. v. Hamidi, 30 Cal. 4th 1342 (2003) Kourosh Kenneth Hamidi, a former Intel engineer, formed an organization named Former and Current Employees of Intel (FACE-Intel) to disseminate information and views critical of Intel’s employment and personnel policies and practices. Over a 21-month period, Hamidi sent as many as 35,000 messages to e-mail addresses … Continue Reading

Employer May Have Violated Federal Law By Accessing Employee’s Secure Website

Konop v. Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., 302 F.3d 868 (9th Cir. 2002) Robert Konop, a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines, created and maintained a website on which he posted bulletins critical of the airline and the incumbent union, the Air Line Pilots Association. Konop controlled access to his website by requiring visitors to log in with a … Continue Reading

Employee Had No Reasonable Expectation Of Privacy In Home Computer Provided By Employer

TBG Ins. Serv. Corp. v. Superior Court, 96 Cal. App. 4th 443 (2002) The employer in this case had provided its employee, Robert Zieminski, with two computers – one for the office and the other to permit Zieminski to work at home. The employee had signed the company’s “electronic and telephone equipment policy,” which, among … Continue Reading
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