Employee Rights

Topics: Employment, E-mail, Law Pages: 6 (2312 words) Published: November 28, 2010
The issue of employers’ and employees’ rights has always brought controversy in most companies. Some rights are expressly known like the right of employees to get paid after working for the agreed period of time among others. However, there are those things done by the employers that most employees feel are too private. Employees feel that some things done by the employers are an intrusion to their privacy. This paper will discuss issues on whether the employer has a right to review the employees’ email. It will look at both the employers and the employees’ perspective and what the law says about the issue. Introduction

Employees and employers have reciprocated obligations towards each other. These duties are usually expressed before or when they are signing the employment contract. It is always vital for both the employers and the employees to know their obligations and rights so that they can avoid breaching the contract and other collisions. The law on employment covers all the obligations and rights related to the relationship between employees and employers (Weckert, 2005). These apply to the job applicants, former and current employers or employees. Since the employment relationships are very complex, the laws of employment cover legal issues like workplace safety, taxation, wages, wrongful termination and various ways of discrimination. Most of the stated issues are dealt with by the application of State and federal laws. If the employment relationship has its base on a contract between the employee and the employer, the duties and the rights of the parties are dictated by the state contact law (Repa, 2007). Employees and employers rights

Both the employers and the employees have rights at the workplace. Employees’ rights include the right to have freedom against discrimination which includes discrimination based on religion, national origin, race, gender, color and age, fair compensation, right to privacy which applies to the personal possessions of the employee which include briefcases, storage lockers that should only be accessed by the employees and private mails that have been addressed to the employee. When it comes to the issue of e-mails, the employees’ rights are restricted especially if the computer system that the employees are using belong to the employer (Wolkinson & Block, 1996). On the other hand, the employers have the following rights and obligations; not to discriminate the employees on any ground, keep records containing the information about employees, pay all employees the rightful wage and write statements on them, keep time and wages records on employees, provision of healthy and safe working place and meet all the minimum employment conditions among others (Jennings, 2005). Views on employers to access employees’ emails

Some people propose that the employer should access the employees’ emails. They give reasons like; it prevents the employees from abusing the computer systems that they have been allowed to use by the employers. At times, the employees take advantage of the computer systems that they have been given by their employers to do their own things that might interfere with the duties of the employee. Such should be monitored through the employers accessing the employees’ electronic communication for the welfare of the company (Marsh, 2009). The proponents of the issue feel that personal emailing hinders employee productivity. Research has been done to support this view. Some employees spend much time on the internet doing their personal stuff at the expense of their jobs. The companies that do not have work targets and the government offices where laxity is a common thing are likely to suffer from this. When the employees spend workplace time to do their own things, the job does not get done (Wolkinson & Block, 1996). This creates inconveniences to the people who are waiting to be served in such offices. This kind of inefficiency makes...
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