07 March 2015

Employee Data

'The Acquisition and Dissemination of Employee Data' by Matthew Finkin in Studies in Labour Law and Social Policy presents
a schematic comparing the legal approach to employer acquisition and dissemination of applicant and employee information in the European Union and the United States. The schematic sets out seven analytical heads:
  • source of law; 
  • scope; 
  • form; 
  • means of effectuation; 
  • conceptual grounding; 
  • valence; and 
  • the relationship of privacy protection to the freedom of expression.
The essay then examines the meaning of these categories and explores the commonalities and differences between the E.U. and the U.S. under each of them. It concludes by taking up a common problem: employer access to and use of applicant and employee social media communications. That specific comparison, on a current and pressing issue, breathes life into the analytical differences and shows that, despite the differences, the actual result “on the ground,” so to speak, may not differ significantly; that the remedial situation in both systems may render the protection they afford illusory.