Just as employers expect certain things of their employees, employees expect things from their employer. In addition to offering a safe work environment, employees often expect that their privacy will be respected while at work. Many employers have no problem doing so, but sometimes what an employee expects to be private isn't treated as such. This confusion has lead to many employees to sue because they felt as though their privacy was violated.
An employee may not sue their employer for violating their privacy if the following has occurred:
- The employee sent an email using employer's computer.
- The employer keeps track of websites visited on an office computer.
- The employer has blocked the employee from visiting certain sites.
- Employer places a limit of how much time an employee can spend on certain sites.
Although there are some instances where an employer can check up on an employee, there are some that would violate an employee's privacy, such as if an employer monitors a personal call without the employee's consent. Employers may think that this isn't a violation of the employee's privacy because they made the call on a work phone, but they have to be careful because many courts would disagree with this assertion.
Even though both employers and employees have rights, employers should be clear on what is and isn't considered in violation of their employees' privacy. People want to feel safe and comfortable at work, and if they do not feel this way, they may consider suing their employer for violating their rights, especially if they are terminated due to information that was discovered because of their privacy being violated. Regardless of what has happened, an attorney can advise you on your best course of action.