This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Reston Town Center that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.
By John V. Berry
A movement that has started in Europe would greatly influence our own employment laws if adopted in the United States. The movement is often referred to as the “Right to be Forgotten.”
If the movement takes hold here, we expect that such a change to the laws of the United States would definitely affect individuals seeking employment.
What is the Right to be Forgotten?
The Right to be Forgotten is simply the ability of negative personal information on the Internet to eventually be deleted or delisted on the Internet. This right is the result of a May 2014 ruling by the European Union’s Court of Justice which found that individuals can ask search engines to remove specific results for inquiries that include their name when the interest in those results is outweighed by the individual’s privacy rights.
This right, as it has been implemented in Europe, has applied mostly to search engines, such as Google, or websites, such as Wikipedia. For example, in Europe, information about misdeeds as a minor, old financial issues, or petty crimes from a long time ago could be deleted. In order to make such a request, a person can ask a search engine, like Google, to delink the material at issue.
Google currently provides a form for this type of request for covered individuals. If such a request is approved, then Google will delink the materials at issue from their European websites (not google.com in the United States).
There have been a number of lawsuits in Europe that have been successful at eliminating negative information on the Internet which no longer serves a purpose. The goal has been to enable individuals with bad prior media exposure, or perhaps unflattering or inappropriate pictures, the ability to move on with their lives without having the negative information remain public forever. To an extent, the Right to be Forgotten functions in a similar manner as outdated negative credit information which eventually falls off a credit report.
How the Right to be Forgotten Might Assist Employees
If implemented in the United States, the Right to be Forgotten would have a significant effect on people seeking employment. While there are legal issues that may exist involving an employer’s search of a job applicant’s background on the Internet, many employers still search prospective employees’ backgrounds on the Internet.
A job applicant’s likelihood of successfully obtaining the employment he or she is seeking significantly lessens if negative information is found about the applicant on the Internet by the potential employer. Should the Right to be Forgotten be implemented in the United States, it would be easier for those individuals that have significant negative information on the Internet to attempt to have a fresh start.
According to a survey by Adweek, 9 in 10 Americans are in favor of the Right to be Forgotten. It may take a few years, but this type of legislation is likely to come to the United States in some form or another. When it does, it may enable many individuals a new start, especially with regard to employment.
We represent employees in security clearance matters. If you need assistance with a security clearance or other employment issue, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village