Monday, June 15, 2020

Privacy Issues to Consider as Workplaces Reopen

Justin Ling recently published an article in CBA National on Getting Back to Work: Sorting through the many privacy issues as businesses get their workplaces ready.

In it, Éloise Gratton, national co-leader on privacy and data protection at BLG, and David Fraser, partner at McInnes Cooper in Halifax, explain the minefield that employers will be facing as workplaces gradually reopen.  A minefield "where employment, labour, health, and privacy law all meet".

Some of the issues employers will be juggling:
  • How much health-related information can employers ask from their staff?
  • What kinds of technologies can they employ to keep people safe? Contact tracing keycards? Location tracking?
  • Where does the data get kept? For how long? When does it get destroyed?
  • Can much screening can employers impose or recommend? Body temperature checks? Swabs? Serological tests (i.e. blood work)?
  • Can people be told to return to work? What if they are immuno-compromised?
  • If an office does not reopen, does that change the conditions of employment under the employment contract?
The article concludes:
"Labour and privacy lawyers will no doubt have their hands full. Fortunately, Gratton notes, the federal Privacy Commissioner is offering consultations with lawyers and businesses who need guidance on this new normal."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:11 pm


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