With ever advancing technology comes the ability for employers to monitor their employee's computer and telephone activity. Although this information is beneficial to employers, it may also seem overly invasive to employees. Staying informed of the rights and limitations of workplace privacy can help protect employers in the event of a lawsuit.
Employers operate in a globally integrated digital world. For many, an abundance of daily operation is done via email, Skype and phone. Many employers offer their employees full use of company-owned computers and telephones. In some cases, employees are even given a company smartphone. Just as employers monitor daily operation in the office, they must also monitor their employee's interaction in the virtual office as well.
As current technology grows, employers are able to better monitor their employee's telephone and computer usage. Although employees should always assume that their emails, phone calls and internet activity are being monitored, some may still find this management invasive. Fortunately for employers, so long as the monitoring is limited to company-owned property, it is generally legal.
Monitoring an employee's virtual activity allows employers to maintain a level of productivity while making sure that office equipment, such as computers and phones, are being used for business purposes. Some may argue that this monitoring is overly invasive, however the information collected can work to benefit of both the employer and employee in the event of a lawsuit. Although employees may request the information to support a case for harassment or discrimination, employers may also use the data collected to defend against these actions or support their decision to terminate an individual's employment.
There are several different benefits to monitoring an employee's virtual activity. Working with an employment law attorney can help employers identify safe ways to do this while staying informed of their rights and the rights of their employees.