The electronic communications privacy act and the issue of privacy at the workplace

Testing of job applicants is the most common form of drug testing. When, if ever, is it acceptable to monitor without notice to the employee and without his or her knowledge? Additionally, these communications can be examined without the knowledge of the communicators.

Technology has made the power to monitor others widely available, whether to governments, private enterprise or individuals.

employee monitoring ethics

However, this amendment is not as clear when applied to the workplace, particularly with frequently changing and emerging forms of communication. Establish a no-tolerance clause for offensive material in email text, images and viewing explicit websites.

They may feel offended by monitoring, especially of their own equipment.

Workplace privacy issues

In general, it is legal for a company to monitor the use of its own property, including but not limited to computers, laptops, and cell phones. Experts recommend that the notice be as specific as possible by including what types of monitoring will be used, how frequently monitoring will occur, and what purpose the employer hopes to accomplish through the monitoring. Thus, the key concept that makes drug testing possible is employment at will, which covers approximately 85 percent of the employees in the private sector unionized workers and top executives have contracts and thus are not at will, nor are government employees who have due process rights. Galkin, Esq. There is much debate over how much privacy employees should have in the workplace with regard to their electronic communications, as regulations tend to lag behind technology. Why would a company want to monitor Internet use at work? However, this monitoring has limits. Burlington Industries, Inc. According to a survey by the American Management Association, 48 percent of employers used a form of video monitoring in the workplace, and 67 percent monitored employee Internet use. High tension, anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue, and musculoskeletal problems are all concerns. Emails Employer-provided email systems are incredibly valuable resources for the company and its staff. Professional lawyers suggest developing a clear and reasonable monitoring policy. Under this act, employers are not allowed to listen or record personal phone calls, even if they are made on company property except in case of the following: the employee has knowledge of the surveillance and has given his or her consent; the communication is intercepted during the course of business; the interception is required to perform a communication service; or to protect the property rights of the employer providing the communication.

Similarly, mail carried through the U. Microsoft Corp.

Employee monitoring court cases

Q: How may an employer adhere to what is work related when monitoring employees? The other widely used exception is the consent exception, which allows employers to monitor employee communications provided employees have given their consent. Numerous other products exist with similar capabilities. This idea works when choosing your employee monitoring software. Under this act, employers are not allowed to listen or record personal phone calls, even if they are made on company property except in case of the following: the employee has knowledge of the surveillance and has given his or her consent; the communication is intercepted during the course of business; the interception is required to perform a communication service; or to protect the property rights of the employer providing the communication. The analysis went on to discuss how Google , Facebook , Verizon , Twitter and other companies are in the middle between users and governments. Many employees generally are not be familiar with the specific details of the law. For example, after transmission and receipt, these communications are stored for an indefinite period of time on equipment under the exclusive control of the employer.

Managers do not want employees wasting time or exposing the company to breaches of data security, identity theft, or the legal ramifications of inappropriate or offensive behavior.

Notify employees which forms of communication are monitored and how.

ethical issue regarding privacy in the workplace

However, ethical considerations may encourage private-sector employers to treat their workers respectfully, even if not required by law.

The general idea has been that the employer owns the equipment, and can therefore set the terms of its use.

Workplace privacy and employee monitoring

Encryption Particularly for protection of email, encryption is an increasingly used option. Thus, the key concept that makes drug testing possible is employment at will, which covers approximately 85 percent of the employees in the private sector unionized workers and top executives have contracts and thus are not at will, nor are government employees who have due process rights. An applicant or employee can refuse to take the test, but that often means not being hired or losing the job, assuming the worker is an employee at will. Ask that employees read and sign the policy to confirm their understanding. Employees are only protected by law in cases pertaining to the use of their personal electronic devices and personal emails. Employers might also be concerned about the productivity loss resulting from employees using office technology for personal matters while on the job. However, George Orwell's passed us by without noticeable big brother control, and the national concern over espionage diminished with the demise of the U. Some managers might be concerned about using cameras at all due to privacy issues; others might want to use them without notifying employees or putting up signs because they do not want to tip off the suspects or deal with the negative reaction of the workforce although that brings up invasion of privacy issues.

Simons, F.

Rated 5/10 based on 46 review
Download
Electronic Communications Privacy Act