Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace
By: Mike • Essay • 1,189 Words • February 14, 2010 • 497 Views
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Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace
Imagine you are writing a very personal email to a family relative and you don’t want your work buddies to know about it. Well if your employer is reading your email for no particular reason, and one of the computer people just happen to say something that they may have read about someone’s personal information, it is then disclosed. Employee privacy rights in the workplace are a very serious issue in today’s society. Employee privacy rights in the workplace should be broken down into categories of who should know what about whom. I agree with having privacy act, but at the same time agree that if the viewers there selves aren’t pertaining to the rules, and then they should be held responsible for violation of privacy.
Most companies today make employees sign what is called a Privacy Act. One main thing that pertains to this privacy act that is not said word for word is that the employer can look at anything they want and when they want that pertains to you on their company networks. There are a lot of reasons why this is allowed. New Technology today is outstanding on all the things inside a business that they can look at. Computer programs make is possible for the employer to look at exactly you are looking at or writing while you are looking at it or writing what ever you may be writing. Employers are also capable of obtaining phone records and verifying who you may have called, for how long, and sometimes even listen to the conversation. “Employers have not only a moral but a legal obligation to recognize certain employee rights.” (Arthur, 1989). With all of this in mind, employers do have certain laws that they must pertain to in order to invade your privacy. Such laws, as the USA Patriot Act, which states individuals are guaranteed access to many government files pertaining to themselves, and the agencies of government that maintain such files are prohibited from disclosing personal information except under court order and certain other limited circumstances.
One thing plays a big effect when dealing with employee privacy rights in the workplace and that is identity theft. Again with the new technology, identity theft can happen very quickly with electronic communication. You can look at personal records at work, while submitting the information to someone else. For example, an employer may electronically review an employee’s email messages as part of an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. Electronic surveillance by an employer also includes electronic monitoring in compliance with a government order to search and seize electronic evidence, such as employer monitoring to comply with a search warrant seeking an employee’s voice mail or e-mail communications on the employer’s computer systems. (King, 2003) That is a good reason as to why cell phones, unless company phones and use only, should not be permitted on company premises. Cell phones come with cameras now, which is not a very good thing. For example, a disgruntled employee has a camera cell phone and goes to a company computer and pulls up a lot of people’s personal information. Where is the privacy in that situation? Medical records pertain to the same when it comes to employee privacy rights. When you go into a doctor’s office and sign the privacy statement, it is for a very good reason. It is good that they obtain so much information from any individual trying to obtain information from another individual. It is good that employers oversee what you may be doing on their network to a certain point, due to computer hackers now days. IT personnel complete their job to ensure computer hackers from out side of the place of employment are not trying to obtain personal information from their employee’s. You just have to remember to make sure that while you are on the computer at your place of employment, that there are not any computer overseer’s near you trying to be nosy, or snooping around.
The government uses the right to invade in mine and your privacy to ensure of terrorist activities. To ensure that we don’t have another 9/11, no plotting and to keep our country and or world a better place. If you don’t have anything to hide then you won’t have anything to worry about. I believe it is a very good idea that