Presentation on theme: "Eyes are Watching Electronic Workplace Monitoring By Nicki Jhabvala Casena Leazer."— Presentation transcript:
Eyes are Watching Electronic Workplace Monitoring By Nicki Jhabvala Casena Leazer
HISTORY 101 … abridged Better technology = Greater Communication = More commonly used = Greater need for regulation
HISTORY 101 … abridged For businesses, regulation is with electronic monitoring
Forms of Monitoring o E-Mails oVideo Surveillance oVoice Recording oTelephone Recording; Retrieving Voicemails oGPS Tracking oKeystrokes oWeb sites visited oTwo-way mirrors oWiggles
A Few Numbers AMA Survey of 526 American Companies ~ 75% of companies use some form of monitoring 60% use software to monitor e-mails and IM’s 51% monitor time spent on company phones & the number of outgoing calls made 51% use video surveillance in the office 8% use a GPS system to monitor company car 5% monitor company provided cell phones
Put it Into Perspective Those 51% who monitor phone calls … yeah, well it used to be only 9% in 2001. And those 51% who use video surveillance … was 33% in 2001. 26% have fired their employees for misusing internet …ouch.
The Debate Where is the line drawn between an employee’s right to privacy and an employer’s right to regulate the company?
Staffer’s Side Simply working for someone does not give them the right to intrude upon basic human rights and common courtesies.
WHY? (1) Trust: hiring implies mutual trust (2) Personal things: some things an employee may do at work are for personal reasons and, frankly, none of an employer’s business (3) Necessity: not all forms of monitoring are necessary or relevant to company business (4) Less Restrictive Means: If an employer is trying to foster productivity and maintain company loyalty, there are better ways of going about doing that. (6) Discrimination: acts of retaliation against employees (5) Stress: creates an unpleasant environment at work
Constitutional Protections The constitutions of 8 states explicitly protect privacy and offer greater protection of the rights of public employees than the U.S. Constitution does. However, these documents protect public employees and the protection does not extend to the private sector. Exception: California. It has extended its state constitution's protection of privacy to private AND public employees In Short: Not much constitutional protection for employees that is clearly and explicitly stated.
The Boss-man’s Side If an employee is under the umbrella of an employer either by physical location or through use of company equipment, employers have every right to monitor the behavior of its employees.
Why? (1) Electronic Communications Act of 1986 = OVERRULED! Established before internet, so it’s obsolete (2) Today’s Common Law: if you are using anything that is owned by the company, and employee should have no expectations of privacy (3) Prevention & Loyalty: don’t want company info from being leaked (4) Keeping Tabs: when they’re on the clock, employees to be doing work (5) Fend off Litigation: explicit proof for when an employee sues an employer (6) Federal Example: if the govt. can do it, I can too
Law is on the Boss-Man’s Side Can my employer listen to my phone calls at work? In most instances, YES! Only when all speakers are in California must consent be required for recording.
Law is on the Boss-Man’s Side If I wear a walkie-talkie headset, are my conversations with co-workers subject to monitoring? YES!
Law is on the Boss-Man’s Side Can my employer obtain a record of my phone calls? YES!
Law is on the Boss-Man’s Side Is my employer allowed to see what is on my terminal while I am working? Generally,YES! An Exception would be Union Contracts where state law doesn’t supercede them.
Law is on the Boss-Man’s Side Is electronic mail private? What about voice mail? NO! Not if sent or received from a company computer!
Law is on the Boss-Man’s Side When I delete messages from my terminal, are they still in the system? Yessirreee!
Law is on the Boss-Man’s Side My employer's electronic mail system has an option for marking messages as "private." Are those messages protected? NOPE!
Law is on the Boss-Man’s Side What about my employer's promises regarding e-mail and other workplace privacy issues. Are they legally binding? Ummm …. NO!
Boss-Man’s Bottom Line Your purpose at work is to work. Read the company manual and make sure you are not violating any rules because your boss is watching.
Case Study (2001) An employee was arrested after a co-worker found him looking at pornographic sites at work After arrested, company searched his computer files and e-mails and found nude/semi-nude photos of his 10- year-old stepdaughter, which he used to gain access to a child porn site and e-mails he sent to others regarding child pornography Mother of 10-year-old sued the company because she felt they did not do a good job of catching the employee’s activities earlier MOM WON, Company learned from mistake AKA now uses electronic monitoring
Cramer v. Consolidated Freightways Consolidated installed secret video taping and two-way mirrors in bathrooms to catch employees using illegal drugs. Lloyd Cramer and other employees of Consolidated sued for invasion of privacy Employees and Consolidated part of collective bargaining agreement that covered the uses the employer could make of video cameras to discipline or discharge an employee California prohibits two-way mirror surveillance CONSOLIDATED LOST Effect of Case: company contractual agreements are pre- empted by state laws and regulations
So What Can You Tell Ma & Pa ? That your tuition bill is worth every penny … ‘Cause you won some candy in Jeopardy today!