In Lawlor v. North American Corporation (lower court opinion
reported at FEB hyperlink), the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that
the employer was liable for the actions of its outside investigator
who engaged in "pretexting" to obtain a former
employee's personal cell phone records. Lawlor, a salesperson,
left North American to work for a competitor. Concerned that she
was committing unfair competition, the company retained an outside
investigator to investigate her activities. Although North American
did not specifically ask for her personal cell phone phone records,
the vendor provided those records to North American, and North
American reviewed them for calls to North American customers after
her termination. Upon learning that North American had accessed her
personal telephone records, Lawlor successfully sued for invasion
of privacy, and obtained a jury award against North American of
$65,000 in compensatory damages, and $1.75 million in punitive
damages. The court affirmed the compensatory damages award
concluding that the jury could reasonably infer that North American
knew that its vendor unlawfully obtained Lawlor's private cell
phone records. However, the court reduced the punitive damages
award to $65,000, as there was no evidence that North American
engaged in an intentional, premeditated scheme to harm Lawlor.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Last week, a plaintiff sued the creator and the operator of the Esteem criminal background database—LexisNexis and First Advantage—alleging that they gave prohibited information to potential employers, which ultimately barred him from getting a job. Tsang v. LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Inc., No. CV-14-0493 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 31, 2014).
It is rare these days for a California appellate court to weigh in on whether an
employer is vicariously liable for accidents involving an employee that occur
during the employee’s commute to and from work.
Given the myriad government regulations applicable to credit unions and the need for strict financial controls, a credit union might perceive that an employee handbook is low on its list of priorities.
Most plan administrators know that the recipe for a group health plan’s COBRA obligation includes three ingredients – a qualifying event that occurs while the individual is covered by the plan that triggers a loss of such coverage.
We were happy yesterday to refer readers to a great treatise by our friend, Ellen Pinkos Cobb, Esq., entitled "Bullying, Violence, Harassment, Discrimination and Stress" which she updated for 2014. As a number of clamoring readers reminded us, we forgot to tell you where to get it.