New Worker Privacy Law Effective July 1, 2013

Under a new statute, Va. Code 40.1-28.7:4 (2013 HB 1931), approved by the Virginia General Assembly on March 18, 2013, current and former employees' personal information gained additional protections against demands from third parties. Under the new law, an employer “shall not be required to release, communicate or distribute to a third party any current or former employee’s personal identifying information.” The law defines “personal identifying information” as “home telephone number, mobile telephone number, email address, shift times, or work schedule.” The new law exempts the disclosure of personal identifying information that is ordered by a court; required by federal or state law; or required pursuant to warrant, subpoena, or in discovery in civil or criminal proceedings. The new law becomes effective July 1, 2013.

As a result of this new law, employers in Virginia need to develop neutral policies addressing when, and under what circumstances, they will disclose the personal identifying information of their current and former employees, particularly in response to customer requests or employment references.

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