Employee Privacy Report
As global economies are brought together through the internet, new concerns are created for businesses. Several concerns have been raised regarding employee privacy while using company email or surfing the internet while at work. Each employee is given access to company issued computers and equipment, and given guidelines concerning the acceptable usage while accessing the company’s assets. This article will examine why companies implement internet and email usage policies, the assumptions employees make about their privacy while at work, and some of the current laws regarding employee privacy.
The first day of my Federal job, my employer stuffed several new employees into a room a bombarded us with information overload. Through the paperwork that had to be filled out, they spoke about a few policies regarding acceptable computer usage during the work day. They detailed restrictions about the types of websites that could be visited, restrictions against accessing personal email through the internet, and guidelines about using our work email for personal use. One of the things that struck me the most was that any email message that was sent using the company email would become the property of the Federal Government. At that moment I began to feel while at work nothing was considered private.
Employers implement and monitor policies regarding internet and email usage in an effort to address the concerns that exist as part of the business. A couple of the concerns they address are; employees are paid to work to not surf the internet or that work email is not being used to harass or offend other employees within the organization. “In lawsuits alleging sexual harassment or discrimination, judges have permitted into evidence inflammatory emails of a racist or sexual nature as well as email requests to a human resources director on how to avoid a wrongful termination claim when firing an older employee.” (Find Law, n.d., p. 1) With the fear...