ASSIGNMENT #1 – ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE OF EMPLOYEES
Although the law on employee privacy rights is still developing, various federal and state
laws limit and define what employers can do when monitoring their employees (
Hamilton, Thomas, & Usry, 2008).
Under federal and most state law, there are areas where an
employee has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the workplace.
Generally, privacy in the
workplace can reasonably be expected in the following three general areas.
First, the area of where employees can reasonably expect to have privacy from their co-
workers is in their private workplace areas. Courts generally recognize a reasonable expectation
of privacy as to an employee’s exclusive private office, desk, and file cabinets containing
personal matters not shared with other workers (Wilson, 2006). Second, in highly private areas
such as restrooms, break lounges, locker rooms, and places designated for health or personal
comfort, courts have generally recognized employees’ reasonable expectations of privacy. The
main reason is that activities carried out in these places are things that are not normally done in
public. They are private acts, and the employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy during
these activities. Finally, different kind of privacy that an employee can reasonably expect in the
workplace would be of their personal records such as their background, health status, social
security numbers, and medical data (Lieber, 2007). This information is kept in the employee’s
private, confidential employee folder in the Human Resources Department, generally in a locked
cabinet or other secured areas. This ensures that no one other than the Human Resources
Department can get access to the information other in the file. At times, special permission is
granted for a manager to review the file for a specific reason, along with the Human Resources
Explain Whether It Makes a Difference If an Employee Is in an Open Area or in an