Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The War Against Florida Employees Continues With New Computer Law

Starting October 1, 2015, Florida employees can expect even more attacks by employers and former employers, thanks to the new Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act passed by our legislature and signed by our multimillionaire Governor. This law has zero protection against employer unauthorized access of employee computers and devices. It only protects computers owned by businesses.

Message by legislature to Florida employees: you don't matter.

Message by legislature to Florida employers: how may we serve you?

It's meant to prevent hacking, but there's some nasty language in there that allows employers to sue employees for any "unauthorized" access of a computer. Your "authorized" access terminates immediately upon the cessation of your employment. So if you are fired and then print out the emails you sent to HR complaining about discrimination or blowing the whistle on illegal activity before you leave, you can possibly be sued.

It's a new law, so we can expect much litigation over what it means. What it doesn't mean, at least in my opinion, is that you have any legal restricting on printing and taking home evidence of your discrimination or whistleblower complaints before you are fired. Will some management-side lawyer try to argue that you aren't allowed to take home your evidence? Maybe.

My best suggestion is to send complaints from your home computer. Be careful out there. And vote better. The Florida legislature is not the friend of Florida employees.

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I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.