Employee Handbook/Privacy Assignment

1519 words - 6 pages

PAGE PAGE 2 Employee Handbook
DOCVARIABLE SH5SectionTitleDOCVARIABLE SH5SectionTitleEmployee Handbook/Privacy AssignmentMGT 434 Business LawSeptember 11, 2006DOCVARIABLE SH5SectionTitleEmployee handbooks are used to familiarize employees with company policies and procedures. Documented employee acknowledgement of receipt and understanding will strengthen the company's position by confirming employees were informed concerning policies and procedures affecting their employment including privacy. An effectively prepared handbook will not only avoid employee misunderstandings, enhance morale and productivity but also address any applicable state, federal, and international laws. Employee handbooks should focus on the following three overarching privacy areas: (1) Operating- confidentiality of company information, (2) Employment- personnel files, harassment, criminal convictions, and employment references, (3) Electronic Access Policies- privacy of email, confidential information, passwords, and access of another employee's email (Employee Handbook Company Policy Manual, 2006). A comprehensive employee handbook will provide a roadmap to guide associates through the maze of company policies and procedures.The company's position in response to privacy rights issues should consider and ensure compliance with common law, statutory requirements, and international law, if applicable. Bennett-Alexander and Hartman define statutory claims as follows:State legislatures have responded to the issue of private sector employee privacy in one of four ways: (1) Enacting legislation mirroring federal law, (2) Recognizing constitutional right to privacy under their state constitutions, (3) Protecting employees only in certain areas of employment, such as personnel records or the use of credit information, and (4) Leaving private sector employees to fend for themselves […] (pp. 593-594, 1995/2004)As such, the employee handbook should identify policies associated with confidentiality including whether the company requires employees to sign a "confidentiality agreement". In addition, information concerning random searches as employees enter/exit the facility should be conveyed in the employee handbook. In terms of general employment privacy, the handbook should speak to handling of personnel file information, medical records, criminal background checks, and employment references. Further, the employee handbook should provide an assurance in regard to confidentiality associated with harassment complaints including the company's investigation process. Finally, the employee handbook should provide clear expectations and procedures in regard to privacy of email, access of another employee's email, confidential information, and passwords. Electronic access policy information should include the company's position in regard to monitoring employee's use of business information systems.The definition of privacy by Schoeman (cited in Hansson and Persson, 2003) states, "a...

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