Carlton Fields’ Brendan Gooley Featured in Tampa Bay Business Journal on Higher Education Institutions Issues Amidst Coronavirus

Education   |   Labor & Employment   |   Litigation and Trials   |   August 27, 2020
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Carlton Fields labor and employment attorney Brendan Gooley was featured in a Tampa Bay Business Journal article about the issues higher education institutions are encountering as they reopen for the fall semester amidst the continuation of coronavirus.

One main and potential legal issue clients are focused on falls under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA was created with the intention of protecting students’ identities, the article explains. It is namely used as reasoning for schools to keep private the name of any students infected with the virus.

Gooley, who addresses FERPA and other privacy related issues for an array of educational institutions, advised that schools should strive to protect students’ privacy when prudent.

The golden rule is protecting privacy, which is the name or any other information in which students can be identified. We’re in a new world because of coronavirus. There may be very narrow situations where it may be allowable for schools to give the student name — contact tracing, for example, to give to public health officials or information with someone with ties to the patient, like a roommate.

He added that schools could face breach of contract suits from students alleging that tuition costs are too steep when considering loss of services in the transition to remote learning.

If you name it, it has been impacted in terms of operations. It’s not one issue, it’s 26 related to COVID-19 and then the normal issues pre-COVID that are also running its challenges.

Read the article. (Subscription may be required).

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