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    Wall Street Journal: Employers Watching Workers Online Spurs Privacy Debate

    The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about privacy in the workplace

    A case brewing in federal court in New Jersey pits bosses against two employees who were complaining about their workplace on an invite-only discussion group on MySpace.com, a social-networking site owned by News Corp., publisher of The Wall Street Journal. The case tests whether a supervisor who managed to log into the forum — and then fired employees who badmouthed supervisors and customers there — had the right to do so.

    The case has some legal and privacy experts concerned that companies are intruding into areas that their employees had considered off limits. […]

    The legal landscape is murky. For the most part, employers don’t need a reason to fire nonunion workers. But state laws in California, New York and Connecticut protect employees who engage in lawful, off-duty activities from being fired or disciplined, according to a report prepared by attorneys at the firm Proskauer Rose LLP. While private conversations might be covered under those laws, none of the statutes specifically addresses social networking or blogging. Thus, privacy advocates expect to see more of these legal challenges.

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