Workplace surveillance
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Workplace Surveillance. Parks Frazier. Types of Monitoring. Computer Monitoring Network Surveillance Call Monitoring Video Monitoring GPS Surveillance Social Media Monitoring. Why is it necessary?. legal liability reasons security concerns

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Workplace Surveillance

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Workplace Surveillance

  • Parks Frazier

Types of Monitoring

  • Computer Monitoring

  • Network Surveillance

  • Call Monitoring

  • Video Monitoring

  • GPS Surveillance

  • Social Media Monitoring

Why is it necessary?

  • legal liability reasons

  • security concerns

  • productivity measurement and performance reviews

  • legal compliance

Legal Liability

  • Chevron Corporation sexual harassment charge

Performance Review

  • cyberloafing- slang term used to describe employees who surf the net, write e-mail or other Internet-elated activities at work

  • employee monitoring to prevent this

Cost of cyberloafing

  • Proven that cyberloafing can cost large companies up to 1 billion dollars per year

  • How can employers stop excessive cyberloafing without causing employees to feel resentment??

Stopping cyberloafing

  • develop solid policy

  • all monitoring should be kept work related

  • make guidelines regarding personal use of Internet reasonable

  • be aware of state laws for privacy in the workplace

  • get consent!

Computer Monitoring

  • main reason is to prevent cyberloafing

  • four types:

    • screen monitoring

    • data monitoring

    • keystroke monitoring

    • idle time monitoring

Screen Monitoring

  • Employer reviews video or images of screen activity

  • Examine EXACTLY what employees are doing on their computers

  • most intrusive

Data Monitoring

  • Consists of keeping track of the content of files stored on employees’ local hard drives.

Keystroke Monitoring

  • Mostly used in word-processing or data entry jobs

  • Software keeps up with number of keystrokes per unit of time

  • Reports to employer if necessary

  • Has been linked to health problems including stress disabilities and carpal tunnel

Idle Time Monitoring

  • Keeps track of amount of time employee is either away from computer or on computer not doing anything

  • Least intrusive

Network Surveillance

  • monitoring of data and traffic on the Internet

  • Computers communicate through use of “packets”

  • Network Surveillance is basically inspection of these packets

  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act supports that employers who own their computer system have the right to monitor

Smyth vs. Pillsbury

  • Smith was told his e-mails couldn’t be intercepted and used against him

  • He then made threatening comments over this e-mail and was terminated for it

  • He lost because of Pennsylvania’s denail of a cause of action for the termination of an at will employee

Falmouth Firefighters Union vs. Falmouth

  • Many sexual and intimate e-mails were recovered from work emails of Firefighter

  • Charged with sexual harassment

  • Lost because he couldn’t prove reason for expectation of privacy

Stengart vs. LovingCare Agency

  • Employee emailed attorney and employer used these emails against him

  • Court ruled that attorney-client privilege applied to emails

  • Company policy stated no expectation of privacy

  • Main factor: sent from personal email

Holmes vs. Petrovich Developmental Co.

  • Identical situation as Stengart vs LovingCare Agency

  • Only difference: emails were sent from company email

  • Court ruled in favor of employer

City of Ontario vs. Quon

  • Supreme Court upheld search of police officer’s personal messages

  • Not violation of constitutional rights because search was work-related

  • However, found sexually explicit messages

Video Monitoring

  • Reasons for video monitoring:

    • deter theft

    • maintain security

    • monitor employee performance

Video Monitoring cont.

  • There are no federal laws in place to protect against Video Monitoring

  • Very few employees have won privacy cases involving video surveillance

Call Monitoring

  • Types:

    • Employers monitoring phone calls

    • Employers obtaining phone records

      • perfectly legal

Monitoring Phone Calls

  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 states that employers are not allowed to monitor employees phone calls without two exceptions:

    • Consent exception

    • Business extension exception

Consent Exception

  • Employer needs one party to give consent for monitoring

  • CAREFUL!! Could be hidden in contract agreements

Business Extension Exception

  • No consent required

  • Requirements must be met:

    • Phone equipment must have been supplied by employer

    • Equipment must be used in ordinary course of business hours

  • Can NOT monitor personal phone calls

  • Can be very difficult to enforce

  • Employer steps to call monitoring

    • Identify means for which he or she will be monitoring

    • Do not intercept personal calls

    • Provide unmonitored phone line for personal calls

    • Make a clear and precise company policy

    • Only allow authorized personnel to monitor phone calls

    • Written consent!!!

    Social Media Monitoring

    • Recent issue

    • No federal laws in place

    • Companies looking for unauthorized posting of company content

    • Mostly left to company policies

    • Have been court rulings AGAINST employers who fired employee for complaining over social media

    GPS surveillance

    • Employers using GPS to track employees

    • Some courts have expanded from employer owned cars to employee owned cars as well

    • Court rulings have been in favor of employers

    Ethical Issues

    • What is the line when it comes to Employee Monitoring?

    • Ethics of Employer monitoring

    • Ethics of Employee behavior

    • Technology is constantly changing

    • How intrusion much is too much?














    • Questions?

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