Q. We created an employee directory in Outlook that contains employee home numbers, cell numbers and addresses. It’s for internal use only. An employee complained. Is there any legal issue with us posting this information? Do we need to get permission from employees?
A. Some states have recognized rights to privacy in its citizens that other states do not, and that could create a cause of action for invasion of privacy in certain circumstances. Clearly, some of your employees need access to this contact information. At the same time, some of those who object may have good reasons, such as they’ve been subject to harassment by co-workers.
In general, I do not think it is necessary to obtain employee permission to compile such a list for internal use only. But unless you have a valid business reason for refusing to do so, allow employees to opt out of publishing information other than their names, titles and how to find them at work.
Louis P. DiLorenzo is chair of theDepartment at Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, and a managing partner of the firm’s New York City and Garden City offices. In addition to representing employers and in all aspects of labor and employment law, he is an author and frequent speaker on employment law.