The Legal, Ethical and Managerial Concerns of Employee Monitoring
Employee monitoring has emerged as a necessity and yet as a very controversial issue due to the widespread use of technology. Employee monitoring is the act of watching and monitoring employees' actions during working hours using employer equipment/property. This phrase can be a little scary as an employee, where is the line? The restroom is their property; thankfully there are employers who know their boundaries. Legally employers are continuing to monitor their employees. The only issue that seems to be addressed is how much they can monitor them. As an employer, you should read the employee monitoring law if you want to understand the legalities of employee monitoring. It states that the employer can monitor your employees' actions on your computers. Employers should have an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in place that is made known to all their employees and they should be made aware that their computers and Internet activity are being monitored. Basically the law states that you can do whatever you want because the computers and the work done on them is your property. An AUP is a written agreement, signed by employees, outlining the terms and conditions of Internet use. It specifically sets out acceptable uses, rules of on-line behavior, and access privileges. They can also cover penalties for violations of the policy, including security violations and vandalism of the system. Anyone using the internet can be required to sign an AUP, and it should be kept on file as a legal, binding document. Balancing the legitimate need of employers to monitor the workplace with respect for individual privacy is not difficult. The best course of action is to have a monitoring policy and follow it. Legal experts state that "apathy toward e-mail and Internet policies is the biggest mistake an employer can make." It is recommended that firms have a written policy clearly stating that any right to privacy...
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