Employee Privacy Paper

Better Essays
Employee Privacy Paper
Tim McFarland
Com285
January 12, 2011

Employee Privacy Paper The business world is rapidly changing with the introduction to new technologies and communication methods. Business corporations, both large and small, are adapting to the new norms of society and have started to apply the internet and email usage to everyday business activities. Within every business office one can find computers, internet, and other technologies that create a quicker, immediate means to communication and allow employees to perform their many tasks and duties associated with their jobs. In recent developments, businesses have begun implementing privacy policies on both employee internet and email usage at the office. Many believe that
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These amenities are a privilege to employees and must be respectfully and responsibly operated. According to a recent court case, Fraser v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., 352 F. 3d 107 (3rd Cir. 2003), the privacy rights of employees using company internet servers for email are negated. As ruled in the court, employers have the right to monitor all emails and internet usage by employees to a reasonable extent. If an employee sends, receives, or stores an email within the employers system, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (Friedman & Reed, 2007)a. Companies may have guaranteed the privacy rights of employees emails, but guarantees are not considered law. In the Smyth v. Pillsbury Company case, a supervisor emailed an inappropriate email to their subordinate via to a home email account. After the subordinate opened the email at home, he or she continued to send the email throughout the office using the company’s internet server. After the Pillsbury company came across the inappropriate email the subordinate was immediately fired (De Pree & Jude, 2006). Regardless to the company’s guarantee the court ruled in favor of the PIllsbury Company, stating “once the plaintiff (the subordinate) communicated the alleged unprofessional comments to a second person over the e-mail …show more content…
Employers are starting to implement privacy policies to both their internet usage as well as their company email allowing them to monitor over their employees. There have been numerous lawsuits and court cases against employers invading the privacy of their employees, but only to find the rulings in favor of the employers. Employees must expect these conditions at their workplaces and review the privacy policies that are being enforced. While on the employers internet, work related activities should only be conducted, and making sure emails are appropriate for the workplace will prevent employees from being prosecuted from their

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