Professor Mary Myers-Nelson
Law, Ethics and Corporate Governance- LEG 500
23 January 2011
New advances in technology make it possible for employers to monitor many different aspects of their employees’ jobs. This is especially true in the case of monitoring telephones, computers, e-mail, voicemail and internet usage.
Within this paper the topic of expected employee privacy within the workplace will be discussed and examined. A special consideration will also be explored for the difference between privacy in open areas and closed door areas. Additionally, the video, “Electronic Surveillance of Employees” will be analyzed in an effort to take a closer look at the reasoning for a company to use electronic surveillance. Finally, the extent of surveillance to which an employer can go will be discussed as well as the rights of third-parties when electronic surveillance is being implemented within the workplace.
Explain where an employee can reasonably expect to have privacy in the workplace.
According to the National Workrights Institute little protection currently exists for the privacy interest of employees in the workplace (NWI, 2011). The 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) contains guidelines which state that interception of communications by an employer is permitted “if the telephone, equipment or facility is furnished by the employer and is used in the ordinary course of business” (Halpern, 2007). Therefore in reference to the question where can employees’ reasonably expect privacy the answer is that such an expectation should not exist. While in the workplace an employee should assume that any sort of conversation, email or interaction could be monitored by the employer. One study indicates that 92% of employers are currently conducting some form of electronic surveillance on their employees (Halbert, 2010).
It should be noted however, that this act does leave room for interpretation. The... [continues]
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