June 13, 2024

politics of law

Politics and Law

Privacy in the Workplace Environment

2 min read

There are two sides to the issue of workplace privacy. There is the employee side and there is the employers side too.

The employee side:

The employee side suggests that employees have the right to privacy and that employers should respect and trust their employees.

The employer side:

The employer side says that the workplace is a public environment and that the organization is responsible for the actions of its employees and their interactions with other employees, clients, and visitors who come there.

More then 50 percent of companies monitor email, voice mail, and employee computer use at all times during the working hours and overtime hours. Most employee monitoring is perfectly legal, although it may not seem like it is so. The general legal view is that computers, telephones, and so on are company property and that employees should not use them for personal reasons.

Companies can trace deleted email and voice mails. Companies use special software that can track internet use. Some companies and individual supervisors even use hidden cameras to see what their employees are doing when they are away and their employees are left alone. As more and nore employees are using technology, this makes it even easier to monitor their work.

One of the major reasons why employers monitor their employees so that they know if they are working or not. Most employees do waste a little time each day like going for a longer lunch, spending too much time talking to their family on the phone during working hours, using the internet way too longer then allowed for personal use, etc.

Some employers have abused their right to monitor employees.

Here’s an example that I read about somewhere online:

An employer was caught video taping his employee in the bathroom. He wanted to see why this person was there for such a long time. Another employer was caught hiring an investigator that would follow some of his employees when they went out for lunch. Now, I know that this sounds weird but it can happen. Is this legal to do? Not really.

Privacy policies in the workplace should inform all employees that they are being monitored. If not, the company is basically risking violating privacy laws that are outlined in that city or country and can pay a big price for not doing so.

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