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Privacy In The Employee Handbook Essay

1501 words - 6 pages

Privacy in the Employee HandbookThe Employee handbook plays an important role in communicating the organization's policies as well as rules and regulations. It gives the employee a source to understand some of the responsibilities, benefits, wages, appraisals and restrictions of both the employee and the employer. One of the main areas of the handbook deals with privacy issues in the workplace. There are several areas to consider when writing a privacy policy. These areas include: the privacy rights issues that are addressed, the company's position in response to privacy rights issues, privacy protections to limit the company's liability, privacy protections to enhance employee motivation and productivity, ethical considerations and different ways to address state, federal, and international laws.What to IncludeEmployees have a reasonable expectation of privacy within the workplace; however there are circumstances when an employer has a legitimate right to monitor, investigate, and review the activities of its employees. The following identifies business practices that may be executed to ensure the integrity of company products and property, workplace safety, and the monitoring of employee productivity.SEARCHES· Physical Searches - the physical search of a person or their belongings may be warranted in the event of a reasonable belief suggesting violation of company rules and regulations or unlawful activity.· Video Surveillance - video surveillance is conducted to monitor the activities of our visitors and employees. This monitoring is conducted within open and public areas of our facility.COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS· Internet, E-mail, Voice mail - the internal communication systems, as well as the equipment and data stored, are and remain at all times the property of the Company. Accordingly, all messages and files created, sent, received or stored within the system should be related to Company business only. It should be noted that although a message or file is deleted or erased, it is still possible to retrieve the message; therefore, ultimate privacy of messages cannot be assured. The Company reserves the right to routinely monitor usage patterns of its e-mail and Internet communications.EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES· Medical Information - the privacy rules outlined under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits the Company from disclosing protected health information (PHI) to anyone without a signed authorization from the employee.· Pre-employment Practices - it is the company's policy to conduct thorough background investigations on all new hires. At a minimum, the following checks are completed:o Education Verificationso Employment Verificationso Criminal Records Searcho Social Security TracePrivacy Rights IssuesThe Privacy Commission, ( Section 5 of the original Privacy Act of 1974 established the "U.S. Privacy Protection Study Commission" recommends any policy with respect to privacy...

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