Maintaining Employee Privacy During the Pandemic: Finding a Balance Between Protecting Employee Rights & Employer Needs

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Time:1 pm eastern
Run Time: 90 minutes including Q & A session
Leaders: Dr. James Castagnera, Attorney at Law
Credits: Awarded 1.5 credit hours by HRCI
Price: Webinar $295; Webinar + Download $349 (Share the download with your colleagues)
Audience: HR, benefits, finance, managers and supervisors, CEOs, in-house counsel, etc.


COVID-19 has fundamentally transformed the workplace. Nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to maintaining employee privacy. Employee privacy rights have experienced significant change all in the name of the employer’s obligation and duty, to maintain the health of the workforce and the success of the business. How have privacy rights guaranteed by GINA, ADA, FMLA, HIPAA and myriad other federal, state and local laws been impacted in this new workplace, and how can these protections be maintained with remote workers, on-site workers, and hybrid work arrangements?

Violations of employee privacy rights also has substantial potential for EEOC complaints and private lawsuits. Increased remote work, use of private devices and networks, breaches of private health information, unauthorized monitoring of communications and a workforce split between a central workplace and growing numbers of employees working from home just raises the potential for violations of employee rights and to the risks and potential liability employers face. Do actions by the DOL, EEOC, and OSHA, and recommendations by the president’s Coronavirus Task Force provide legal support for employers? HR is dealing with these crucial privacy requirements in situations that were never contemplated‒raising new compliance risks for human resources professionals and their employers. Please join attorney Dr. Jim Castagnera, as he reviews current federal and state employee privacy requirements and discusses the compliance challenges HR will face, as well as provide actionable best practices in addressing the challenges of employee privacy in the COVID-19 world of work.


During this vital webinar attorney Dr. Castagnera will discuss:

  • Current employee privacy rights included in GINA, FMLA, ADA, Electronic Communications Privacy Act and other important federal and state statutes and regulations
  • Privacy violations including invasion of privacy, disclosure of private facts, unauthorized disclosure of employee medical information, failure to adequately safeguard employee information, etc.
  • Can vaccinations (including Flu vaccinations) and tests be mandated without violating privacy rights? Can an employee’s health information be disclosed to other workers?
  • Employer rights with regard to employee’s work communications including email, messages, Slack, etc. and how is that impacted when employees are remote.
  • How does employee use of personal devices and computers (remotely or in the workplace) impact privacy rights and security concerns?
  • Title VII and other anti-discrimination requirements, especially as they relate to medical tests, vaccinations, and results
  • EEOC and OSHA guidance for monitoring the health of the workforce
  • Privacy rules and how they apply to your business
    • Are you allowed to take your employee’s temperature? How often and under what circumstances?
    • How may you access and use health information you gather without violating an employee’s right to privacy?
    • Is inquiring about the health of an employee or a family member a privacy violation in the COVID-19 impacted workplace? Is it discriminatory?
    • Can you monitor the social media of an employee to check on their health?
    • Is it a privacy violation to ask about an employee’s after work activities?
  • Can you (must you) report the results of your health checks and other information you learn to public health officials?
  • Do the same privacy requirements apply in work-from-home situations?
  • Can the employer cure a violation of an employee’s right to privacy?


Dr. Jim Castagnera is an employment and labor attorney with more than 36 years’ experience. He is a sought-after speaker on coronavirus and other topics, teacher, successful author, and accomplished consultant who assists his clients in meeting their current HR compliance challenges with clear and practical solutions. He holds a JD and a PhD from Case Western Reserve University. Following ten years as an employment and labor lawyer with a major Philadelphia law firm, he served for 23 years as in-house legal counsel at Rider University. With 20 published books, mostly on HR-law topics, he teaches HR compliance in Drexel University’s Kline School of Law and is the chief consultant of Holland Media Services, with offices in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

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