DSST Business Ethics Study Guide sm

One company offers technology that claims to provide

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One company offers technology that claims to provide insight into individual employee behavior based on the trail of "digital footprints" created each day in the workplace. This behavioral modeling technology can piece together all of these electronic records to provide behavior patterns that employers may utilize to evaluate employee performance and conduct. For example, it might look for word patterns, changes in language or style, and communication patterns between individuals. Recent surveys have found that a majority of employers monitor their employees. They are motivated by concern over litigation and the increasing role that electronic evidence plays in lawsuits and government agency investigations. A 2005 survey by the American Management Association found that three-fourths of employers monitor their employees' web site visits in order to prevent inappropriate surfing. And 65% use software to block connections to web sites deemed off limits for employees. About a third track keystrokes and time spent at the keyboard. Just over half of employers review and retain electronic mail messages. Over 80% of employers disclose their monitoring practices to employees. And most employers have
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established policies governing Internet use, including e-mail use (84%) and personal Internet use (81%). For additional findings from the AMA's 2005 survey, visit . 2. Telephone Monitoring Can my employer listen to my phone calls at work? In most instances, yes. For example, employers may monitor calls with clients or customers for reasons of quality control. However, when the parties to the call are all in California, state law requires that they be informed that the conversation is recorded or monitored by either putting a beep tone on the line or playing a recorded message. (California Public Utilities Commission General Order 107-B, ) Not every business is aware of this requirement, so your calls might still be monitored without a warning. Federal law, which regulates phone calls with persons outside the state, does allow unannounced monitoring for business-related calls. (See Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 USC 2510, et. seq., .)An important exception is made for personal calls. 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 (11 th Cir. 1983)) However, when employees are told not to make personal calls from specified business phones, the employee then takes the risk that calls on those phones may be monitored. Privacy Tip: The best way to ensure the privacy of your personal calls made at work is to use your own mobile phone, a pay phone, or a separate phone designated by your employer for personal calls.
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