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Legal, Ethical & Managerial Concerns of Employee Monitoring

1. Identify and examine various legal, ethical, and managerial elements as they apply to employee monitoring.
2. Cite at least 2 references that describe these concerns and how they are being actively addressed.

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Identify employee monitoring: Employee monitoring is when an employer will keep track or monitor actions of their employees, either via video, the internet, or by voice mail.

"Employers want to be sure their employees are doing a good job, but employees don't want their every sneeze or trip to the water cooler logged. That's the essential conflict of workplace monitoring.

New technologies make it possible for employers to monitor many aspects of their employees' jobs, especially on telephones, computer terminals, through electronic and voice mail, and when employees are using the Internet. Such monitoring is virtually unregulated. Therefore, unless company policy specifically states otherwise (and even this is not assured), your employer may listen, watch and read most of your workplace communications.

One company offers technology that claims to provide insight into individual employee behavior based on the trail of "digital footprints" created each day in the workplace. This behavioral modeling technology can piece together all of these electronic records to provide behavior patterns that employers may utilize to evaluate employee performance and conduct. For example, it might look for word patterns, changes in language or style, and communication patterns between individuals.

Recent surveys have found that a majority of employers monitor their employees. They are motivated by concern over litigation and the increasing role that electronic evidence plays in lawsuits and government agency investigations."

Source: http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs7-work.htm

Legal elements of employee monitoring:

There is a law that employees must rely upon when monitoring their employees.

"As an employer, you should read the employee monitoring law below if you want to understand the legalities of employee monitoring. In short, it says that you, the employer, can monitor your employees' actions on your computers. Employers should have an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in place that is made known to all their employees and they should be made aware that their computers and Internet activity are being monitored. Basically the law states that you can do whatever you want because the computers and the work done on them is your property".

"Legal Liability ranked the highest concern by managers at 68.3 %, and performance review ranked as a concern by 45.3 % of respondents in the survey (AMA, 2002). Some extremely interesting figures ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides an explanation of the ethical, legal, and managerial concerns of employee monitoring.