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Employee Privacy Essay

1078 words - 4 pages

The introduction of the Internet has effectively changed the way we do business. Almost every successful business in the world must now be on-line in order to survive the competition. Even company employees often require Internet access to perform their jobs. This has caused quite a dilemma for many employers. How can they provide internet access to their workers and feel confident that it will not be misused in a way that would be harmful to the company? This essay will examine this issue in detail and focus on the possible affects that could result from a company that removes employee privacy by monitoring their use of the Internet. Disregarding whether it should be legal or not, is it morally acceptable for the employer to monitor the employee?Moral Dilemma can be a tricky question to answer because of all the variables involved. There are many people who would say that a company has absolutely no moral right to invade the privacy of their employees. What about the employee who is using the computer to steal from the company? There may also be instances when a worker has a vendetta against his or her workplace and seeks to somehow harm the company. These factors must be considered when logically answering this question. It is true that employee moral can have both positive and negative impacts on company success. Because of this, there has to be some level of privacy at the workplace in order to preserve the welfare and moral of the workers.Employee privacy is a war that has been fought dating back almost 200 years before the computer was even invented. Often times, both employers and employees seek to apply these old privacy laws to their cause. Public employees may seek the Fourth Amendment for protection while union members may utilize the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). What about the private sector employee? This is when the line narrows between the law and the person interpreting it.Now that we live in a technological era, employers can monitor their employees every move while at work. On the telephones, on the computer, and even when using the Internet, employers can see exactly what employees are doing. When monitoring computers at the workplace, employers can now utilize programs that let them see exactly what employees are doing on the computer. Another way employers monitor if employees are working or how long they have been away from there computer is using an idle time. Idle time means when the computer is not in use. Employers may let their employees know that their emails and what they are viewing on the internet may be monitored by sending out memos, or in a contract that employers have employees sign when they are being considered for employment, as an email to employees, or in anemployee handbook. Employers may also use cameras to monitor employees. Whether the camera is hooked on directly to the computer to see if employees are working; orwhether the company installed the cameras on the ceiling to surveillance employees...

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