Workplace Privacy Essay

3560 words - 14 pages

Workplace Privacy


As a director for the American Red Cross of Santa Monica, not only am I constantly faced with policy and personnel conflicts, I am also responsible for finding solutions to those conflicts. Recently, I was charged with the task of finding a solution to a problem we (as a chapter) had never dealt with before.

The American Red Cross is an apolitical organization. During the recent elections, a supervisor in my office sent out emails to many of our colleagues and her friends stating her opinion regarding Proposition 22 (the proposition referring to the status of gay relationships). She was strongly against the issue, and was encouraging everyone to get out and vote against this proposition.

The supervisor used her email account at the American Red Cross of Santa Monica to get her message out. Each employee’s email account identifies the Red Cross of Santa Monica in its address. Although the supervisor was acting as a concerned citizen and by no means meant to make her statements as a Red Cross representative, that is exactly how many people who received the message took it. Red Cross clients, volunteers, and staff complained about this supervisor using her Red Cross email to send out her political message.

The supervisor made two very large mistakes. Firstly, she sent out a personal message on her company email account. Secondly, she sent that message to business associates, not just friends.

The Red Cross of Santa Monica management made two large mistakes as well. Firstly, we had not developed an email/internet policy. Secondly, management would have not known about the situation if people had not complained. There is no monitoring system in place to protect Red Cross Santa Monica and its image from conflicts such as this one.

It is because of this situation that I began to investigate email/internet policies and the topic of privacy in the workplace. What follows in this report are my findings on these issues.


If you are reading this paper at work, chances are your boss may be reading it right along with you and you do not know it. Employers have a legitimate interest in monitoring their employees in the workplace. Besides efficiency and productivity, employers want to protect their agencies from possible employee misconduct, fraud, and misrepresentation.

Current legal trends seem to indicate that employer interests are going to be given deference, especially if the workplace continues to experience signs of increased destructive behaviors (thefts, workplace violence, copyright infringement, etc.). At times, employee surveillance is viewed as absolutely necessary.

Unfortunately, there are virtually no clear-cut laws that regulate employee monitoring in the workplace. In order to protect yourself, understand your employer’s policy on employee monitoring and know your privacy rights if your employer abuses...

Find Another Essay On Workplace Privacy

Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace.

1416 words - 6 pages Drug testing in the workplace is a violation of employee privacy rights. Drug testing in the workplace was founded under the idea of protecting the employer from employees that had attendance, tardiness, theft and accidents assumed to be related to drug and alcohol abuse. To protect an employee's right to privacy an employer should seek out alternatives to detecting and preventing drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace other than drug testing

Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

1754 words - 7 pages There are several forms of privacy invasions happening in the workplace everyday. The creator has found several ways employees? rights are being violated. They are the following; background checks, finger printing, information technology surveillance, interrogations-including asking questions about personal life, metal detectors, search and seizures, and testing (alcohol, drug, genetic, lie detector testing, medical, physical and psychological

Issue of Privacy in the Workplace.

1201 words - 5 pages The 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

Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

1754 words - 7 pages discrimination; about 31 states have enacted some protections (Bereano, 2001).There are few news stories involving genetic testing and it is not yet a major problem when it comes to workplace employment practices. It is still important that society consider the legal, ethical and moral issues that individuals are bound to encounter. The obvious issue comes down to an individual's right to privacy versus an employer's need to know. When it comes to genetic

Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

1419 words - 6 pages situation and І feel strongly that if we began to initiate this process, а change will be made.ReferencesArmour, Stephanie (2005) Trend: You smoke? You're fired! USA Today, News, p1-13Lichtash, Ayelet (2004) Inappropriate use of Email and the Internet in the Workplace: The Arbitration Picture, Dispute Resolution Journal, Vol. 59 Issue 1, 11p, 1c, p26Mishra, Jitendra M.; Crampton Suzanne M. (2006) Employee observing: privacy in the

Employers Rights When It Comes to Workplace Privacy

1235 words - 5 pages The article named “Workplace Privacy” discussed the topic in vivid detail while supplying logical statistics and claims. The debate is about supporters, who want rights in the workplace, as well as the critics, who believe it is important to monitor the workplace in order to eliminate potential problems. A poll was conducted in July of 2007; the results showed that nearly half of employers monitor workers emails alone. Additional evidence

Rights of Privacy in the Private Sector Workplace

2481 words - 10 pages Employee Privacy Rights: Limitations to Monitoriing ?Companies are intruding more deeply into the lives of employees, and even though corporate intentions may be benign, the risk of backlash is growing.? ?Lee Smith (1) With the rise of advanced technology, there arose the threat of surveillance and privacy invasion in the workplace. An employee, by the very nature of the employment relationship, must be subject to some level of

"Employee Privacy": The risks and complications involved on the issue of employee privacy in the workplace.

1364 words - 5 pages 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

How the Growth of Electronic Monitoring Has Changed Employee Expectations of Privacy in the Workplace

1294 words - 5 pages The use of the internet for personal pursuits in the workplace has seen phenomenal growth over the last quarter century. Along with this growth, employers and employees alike have used the internet as a tool to increase profit, manage time and facilitate communications. However, such technological advancement has its issues. The problem investigated is how the growth of electronic monitoring has changed employee expectations of privacy in the

Online Monitoring: A Threat to Employee Privacy in the Wired Workplace

1362 words - 5 pages , however, Internet usage policies often include language authorizing companies to secretly monitor their employees, a practicethat raises questions about rights in the workplace. Although companies often have legitimate concerns that lead them to monitor employees' Internet usage-from expensive security breaches to reduced productivity-the benefits of electronic surveillance are outweighed by its costs to employees' privacy and autonomy.While

Employee Privacy Report

938 words - 4 pages Employee Privacy Report 1 In this report, I will be addressing e-mail, Internet use, and privacy policies in my workplace; the current laws regulating employee e-mail and Internet privacy; the reasons to companies carry out e-mail and Internet use policies; the assumptions employees make about their privacy at work; and how these policies affect employee privacy at work. E-Mail and Internet Use , Privacy Policies The E

Similar Essays

Privacy In The Workplace Essay

2493 words - 10 pages Privacy in the Workplace Introduction Technology has developed in leaps and bounds over the past few decades. The case is that the law always has difficulty keeping pace with new issues and technology and the few laws that are enacted are usually very general and obsucre. The main topic of this paper is to address the effect of technology on privacy in the workplace. We have to have an understanding of privacy before trying to protect

Privacy In The Workplace Essay

1612 words - 6 pages to genetic testing invading privacy is that it reveals information about an individual that can hinder their livelihood without their discretion. “Only in the ‘exceptional cases’ should ‘the use of genetic screening… be considered… [and] the performance of the test does not prejudice the aim of improving conditions in the workplace’ (Holtzman, 2003). If a test is conducted without the consent of the individual, its use should only be for a

Employee Privacy Rights In The Workplace

1403 words - 6 pages The issue of privacy is a big concern in the workplace. With the expanding of new technology, many employees are concern about his or, her privacy in the workplace. Employees have the right to go to work knowing that his or, her employer will not invade their privacy. The rights to privacy in the workplace only provide limited protection for workers against monitoring and breach of confidentiality. The National Work Rights Institute states

Employe Privacy Rights In The Workplace

2011 words - 8 pages Is there privacy in the workplace? All employers must do their best to balance privacy rights against the need to create and maintain a safe and secure work environment. "You check your privacy at the door when you enter the workplace." (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse 2001) Employers want to make sure that their employees are doing their job, but at the same time employers do not want to take away any feeling of security that their employees have