She Snoops to Conquer - Case Analysis Business Ethics

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Employee privacy is a very controversial topic. The first issue at hand is whether or not the employer in Case 9.3 has the right to invade her employees’ privacy. It can be argued that employers don’t have the right to invade their employees’ privacy. It is one thing for an employer to monitor their employees in the workplace to make sure they are not doing something that will affect the company’s profits, but it is a much more egregious issue for the employer to go beyond his or her interest to invade his or her employees’ privacy when they are not working.

The Washington State Constitution Article I, Section 7 states that “no person shall be disturbed in his private affairs.” Essentially, privacy is widely acknowledged to be a fundamental right of every person. In Case 9.3, Jean Fanuchi, the manager of the jewelry department, resorts to invading her employees’ privacy in order to catch the culprit who is responsible for her deflating profit in the jewelry department. Fanuchi sets up a video camera to catch the culprit, but her interest in protecting the department store are highly outweighed by the employees’ privacy interest. The manager deliberately invades her employees’ privacy by installing microphones in the restroom, stockroom, and employee lounge. The microphones are an invasion of privacy because Fanuchi’s actions begin to cross the line that constitutes personal privacy, and this becomes unfairly prejudicial to the employee when they are caught saying something that inculpates themselves. For example, the book states on page 347, “employees want to control intimate or personal information about ourselves and not permit it to be freely available to everyone.” It can be inferred that if the employees knew that the microphone was there they would not have divulged their personal information about their selling marijuana and perhaps hard drugs, plans for future or ongoing employment, and food stamp fraudulences. As stated on pg. 12, “An action...