DSST Business Ethics Study Guide sm

People involved in intensive word processing and data

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People involved in intensive word-processing and data entry jobs may be subject to keystroke monitoring. Such systems tells the manager how many keystrokes per hour each employee is performing. It also may inform employees if they are above or below the standard number of keystrokes expected. Keystroke monitoring has been linked with health problems including stress disabilities and physical problems like carpal tunnel syndrome. 2. Another computer monitoring technique allows employers to keep track of the amount of time an employee spends away from the computer or idle time at the terminal. Is my employer allowed to see what is on my terminal while I am working? Generally, yes. Since the employer owns the computer network and the terminals, he or she is free to use them to monitor employees.Employees are given some protection from computer and other forms of electronic monitoring under certain circumstances. Union contracts, for example, may limit the employer's right to monitor. Also, public sector employees may have some minimal rights under the United States Constitution, in particular the Fourth Amendment which safeguards against unreasonable search and seizure. There may be some additional rights for employees in California given specific statutes of that state. See the paper by Los Angeles attorneys John Caragozian and Donald Warner, Jr., titled " Privacy Rights of Employees Using Workplace Computers in California ," published in 2000. How can I tell if I am being monitored at my terminal? Most computer monitoring equipment allows employers to monitor without the employees' knowledge. However, some employers do notify employees that monitoring takes place. This information may be communicated in memos, employee handbooks, union contracts, at meetings or on a sticker attached to the computer. In most cases, employees find out about computer monitoring during a performance evaluation when the information collected is used to evaluate the employee's work. 4. Electronic Mail and Voice Mail Is electronic mail private? What about voice mail? In most cases, no. If an electronic mail (e-mail) system is used at a company, the employer owns it and is allowed to review its contents. Messages sent within the company as well as those that are sent from your terminal to another company or from another company to you can be subject to monitoring by your employer. This includes web-based email accounts such as Yahoo and Hotmail as well as instant messages. The same holds true for voice mail systems. In general, employees should not assume that these activities are not being monitored and are private. Several workplace privacy court cases have been decided in the employer's favor. See for example: Bourke v. Nissan, www.loundy.com/CASES/Bourke_v_Nissan.html Smyth v. Pillsbury, www.loundy.com/CASES/Smyth_v_Pillsbury.html Shoars v. Epson, http://fac-staff.seattleu.edu/mchon/web/Cases/shoars.html When I delete messages from my terminal, are they still in the system?
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Yes. Electronic and voice mail systems retain messages in memory even after they have been deleted. Although it appears they are erased, they are often permanently "backed up" on magnetic
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People involved in intensive word processing and data entry...

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