Friday, March 18, 2011

Technology, Law, and the Workplace: Week in Review

It was another busy week in the world of technology and employment and labor law.  Mercifully, the Charlie Sheen uproar seems to have tapered off for the time being (although you can now watch his online rants on Ustream).  Perhaps even more shocking, Eric Meyer at The Employer Handbook reported on a sexting case that turned out surprisingly well for an unprepared employer (don’t expect to be so lucky if you repeat their mistakes).  Other stories from the week include a great summary of some of the wage and hour issues associated with telecommuting, updates in the WikiLeaks/Bank of America employee saga, and the impact of social media in the NFL labor negotiations.

But speaking of Charlie Sheen, stories about a student’s racist rant and the potential backfiring effects of social media serve as cautionary tales for employers.  Information security was also in the news, with articles about the threat of data theft over unsecured wireless networks and cyber terrorism.  As technology continues to evolve, employers should keep in mind that the law, while slow to change, is based on notions of reasonableness.  There are good legal reasons for employers to pay attention to developments in the tools available to prevent and monitor employee misconduct.

Technology in the Workplace
Technology and the Law More Generally
Technology News
  • Future Computer Chips Will Make More Mistakes (And That’s a Good Thing) (Fast Company)
  • Twitter Joins Facebook in Beefing Up Security, Foiling Hackers (Fast Company)
  • Robot Butlers Are Finally a Reality (Fast Company)
  • IBM Hopes Robots Will Keep Your Luggage From Getting Lost (Fast Company)
  • When the Marketing Reach of Social Media Backfires (NY Times)
  • U.C.L.A. Student’s Video Rant Against Asians Fuels Firestorm (NY Times)
  • Men’s Health says Minneapolis is the fourth most socially networked city (the line)
  • Robot Suits Transform Humans Into Super Strong Cyborgs (Fast Company)
  • Threats to Traveling Data (NY Times)
  • When Unrest Stirs, Bloggers Are Already in Place (NY Times)
  • Germany’s Cyber-War Intensifies (Fast Company)
  • Facebook Users Who Are Under Age Raise Concerns (NY Times)
  • Robokind Robots: They’re Just Like Us! (Fast Company)

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