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Protecting Internet Communication Privacy in the Workplace

January 8th, 2020

In past decades, a worker was given some form of privacy during work hours. This was due to the employer’s inability to monitor each worker’s every move. However, the internet now allows an employer to breach this privacy through monitoring software. There is controversy regarding an employer’s right to monitor their employees. While some find it necessary to monitor productivity, emails, and social media usage, others find it an invasion of privacy. Although most forms of worker monitoring are protected by the law, workers have certain rights pertaining to their privacy.

How Employers Monitor Employees

Employers can monitor their employees in several ways. Some of these methods include:

  • Email
  • Web browsing
  • Computer files
  • Specialized computer software
  • Keystroke monitoring
  • Idle time monitoring
  • Social media

Monitoring Workplace Productivity

Employers might monitor their workers to track productivity. An employer can accomplish this through keystroke monitoring, which allows an employer to identify the amount of keystrokes a worker produces in an hour. Employers can compare the amount of keystrokes found to the standard expected amount to determine whether the employee is productive. Similarly, employers can see the amount of time a worker has been idle on their computer to determine how long an employee spends away from their desk.

Guaranteeing Worker Compliance

Another reason an employer monitors their workers is to guarantee worker compliance with the organization’s rules and regulations. They do this by analyzing workers’ emails. Employers can access an employee’s emails through digital server systems without needing extra software. Employers can also analyze a worker’s social media accounts. In doing so, the employer might find out whether the employee distributed sensitive information pertaining to the organization or its customers. Similarly, they can find any harassing remarks about fellow workers or negative opinions about the company.

Employee Rights to Privacy

For the most part, employers have a right to monitor their workers. However, there are some instances where this is untrue. For instance, there are some union contracts that limit the amount that an employer can monitor. Similarly, individuals who work for the government have more rights to their privacy than those who work for private companies. Those who believe that an employer violated their privacy should contact an employment lawyer.

Bucks County Employment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Advocate for Employees’ Rights

If your employer breached your privacy while you were at work, contact a Bucks County employment lawyer at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Our lawyers work closely with victims and help them obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. If you are interested in speaking to an employment lawyer, contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

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