Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace Essay

1537 Words Oct 31st, 2005 7 Pages
Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace
Employee privacy rights have been the topic of great debate in recent years. This essay will examine: the definition of privacy, employers rights to access activities done in the workplace, to whom the resources such as time and equipment belong, and employee monitoring as an invasion of privacy or a performance evaluation tool. These are the core issues of the employee privacy rights controversy. Employee privacy rights should only be applicable to the personal activities that must take place during working hours. Activities occurring on company time are the property of the employer, and therefore, are not the private property of the employee. Employee privacy rights in the workplace should be
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If concerned about levels of privacy, employees should leave personal matters at home. The employer may or may not choose to disregard material discovered if they know it to be of a private nature. There is no obligation for the employer to do so (Quinn, 2005).
What activities that are job related would necessitate keeping them secret from an employer? No actions done for or on behalf of an employer would require the employer to have no knowledge of these actions. The personal or private activities that take place during work hours are the property of the employer. If privacy is protected as a citizens right, then the need for additional laws to protect the employee are unnecessary. Any infringement on privacy rights by an employer would be governed under the Invasion of Privacy Act. The controversy arises from the expectations of privacy of the employee. There is very little to support the expectations of privacy by employees. When monitoring employee activity, the law places very few boundaries on an employer. As stated earlier there are no Federal laws to preserve employee privacy rights (Canoni, Summer 2004).
The employer has purchased the time and resources of the employee. The standard methods of payment for persons employed by another party are hourly wages and salaried employment. In both of these cases the employer normally