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Electronic Surveillance Of Employees Essay

1421 words - 6 pages

Explain where an employee can reasonably expect to have privacy in the workplace.
The only reasonable area an employee can expect to have privacy in the workplace is in the restroom. “Because electronic monitoring is now commonplace, it may be considered normal, if not accepted, as long as employers can point to a legitimate purpose for monitoring, it will be difficult for employees to win cases against them.” (Halbert & Ingulli pg 74). With this being said, within the private sector privacy law would allow for very minimal expectation of privacy anywhere other than the workplace facility’s’ lavatories. Depending on the workplaces provided service, a case can be made that there is a need ...view middle of the document...

Explain whether it makes a difference if an employee is in an open area or in an enclosed office.
There is a reasonable expectation of increased privacy when being in an enclosed space or office versus an open area. This is due to the evident nature of the area. In an open area there are no walls to provide a reasonable level of privacy where as in an enclosed space there is a sense of privacy due to being surrounded by walls. However, ultimately there can be no expectation of complete privacy within a workplace. Due to being in a private company owned facility, it’s not reasonable to assume that at any time if you’re alone, you have complete privacy. For example, if you make a personal phone call within an office from a company owned device, that call may have been recorded or monitored depending on company policy. There are laws that prohibit against monitoring private calls if using company equipment for personal use is allowed. “Under federal case law, when an employer realizes the call is personal, he or she must immediately stop monitoring the call. (Watkins v. L.M. Berry & Co., 704 F.2d 577, 583 (11th Cir. 1983))” (
It does make a difference that conversations held in private enclosures have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Employees should not fear having conversations in designated private rooms due to listening devices or video surveillance. Within an office environment it is necessary for employees to have conversations with their management team about private matters that may impact their work which there is a need for the information to remain confidential between the individuals involved. Sometimes leaders serve as a resource for employees to discuss personal issues that they may need assistance with in which a Supervisor can provide advice and company resources to assist while respecting the employee’s right to privacy. There must be some form of reasonable privacy although complete privacy should not be expected.

Explain if Herman’s need to know whether his salespersons are honest is a sufficient ground for utilizing electronic surveillance.
In the video, when questioned by the sales rep that discovered the sales floor was being electronically monitored, Herman stated, “I got to know my sales people are honest, do you have any idea what type of reputation car salesman have?, I want to change that”. (, Employment Law: Electronic Surveillance of Employees Video) Based on this company vision and direction, this is sufficient grounds for using electronic surveillance to monitor employee sales conversations. If the company vision is to change the perception regarding car sales people, then ensuring that their sales force are being honest and providing exceptional service, it makes sense that these sales conversations be monitored. However, the method of non-disclosure of these conversations being monitored is unethical. And it also violates the customer’s privacy if they...

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