ECE _DSST _ Human Resource MGMT

The courts have held that employees in sensitive

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The courts have held that employees in "sensitive" positions can be subjected to mandatory drug-testing. The sensitive positions refer to jobs such as flight crew members, police officers, firefighters and transportation safety crew. The testing is mandatory as the employer's interest in keeping a drug-free workplace overrides the privacy interest of the employees. As the laws relating to the drug -testing of employees in non-sensitive positions vary from state to state; some employers have turned to an alternative form of testing to determine the suitability of an individual to perform a job and this test is
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called the impairment test. It can also be called a "fitness for duty" test, or a performance-based test. This test determines if the employee is sufficiently alert for work. The advantage this test has over drug-testing is that it concentrates on workplace behavior as opposed to off-work activities. The majority of major US companies use surveillance to monitor their employees to prevent theft . The US Chamber of Commerce has estimated that businesses lose $40 billion yearly from employee theft. Therefore, big companies use surveillance as a deterrent and to catch employees who steal. Employee searches are conducted to assist in fighting crime but employers should have a clear HR search policy that is well publicized stating probable or compelling cause as a justification for the search. It should be applied privately, in a discreet fashion, preferably with the employee’s consent and the penalty for failure to comply with the policy should be clearly stated. The courts have determined that probable cause must exist for a search to take place. Access to personnel files is governed by the Privacy Act of 1974 and state laws; about half of the states permit employees the right to view these files and correct inaccuracies. This is one of the rights normally granted to employees in the states that permit access. Monitoring employee use of email, voice mail and Internet use is common practice for employers and they have great latitude when doing this as it covers their own equipment. Since company equipment is used for generating email, voice mail and for surfing the Internet; employers have greater scope in monitoring such activity. The courts have held that they can monitor materials created, sent and received for business purposes. Employees can be disciplined for inappropriate email messaging or Internet use. Generally speaking, off-duty conduct is not grounds for disciplining or firing an employee unless the employer can demonstrate a clear link between the employee’s misconduct with a negative effect on the rest of the workforce or the company. The general rule is that off-duty activities are the private business of the employee and nothing to do with the employer. Exceptions would include, for example, a situation where a paramedic has been charged with molesting a child. This would have a negative impact on both fellow workers and the health services
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The courts have held that employees in sensitive positions...

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