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    Electronic Surveillance and Monitoring of Employees

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    Electronic surveillance is not a black and white question but as certain laws inferred notice to the employee is important. A major issue in this debate is the type of electronic surveillance to be used in an employment setting. However, and depending on the state law, generally an employer can monitor employees for business related reasons. For example, employers may monitor calls with clients or customers for reasons of quality control. Some state law requires that employees be informed that the conversation is recorded or monitored by either putting a beep tone on the line or playing a recorded message.

    There are valid business reasons for recording calls and even monitoring employees. Legally, employers are permitted to do so within certain confines. There are both Federal and individual State laws that govern these types of monitoring. The majority do permit voice recordings, so long as the parties involved are aware of it. Video monitoring is usually more stringent in that there must be a business purpose; such as working around cash. This solution debates the "right and wrong" of surveillance.

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    Solution Preview

    There are both Federal and State laws that govern electronic surveillance and how that impacts use in employment settings. At the Federal level, there is the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, in which at least one party to the conversation must consent to recording (reference below). For any consumer that has contacted customer service for a question or complaint over a product or service, it is very common to hear a pre-recorded message indicating the conversation may be recorded for "quality assurance" purposes. In this scenario, recording conversations can be a very valuable tool. If a customer complains about the level of service received on a previous call, management is able to retrieve the recording and analysis how the conversation went. This type of recording can be used as a training example or perhaps even for a corrective action plan if ...

    Solution Summary

    Some jobs monitor employee performance by recording calls with customers - alerting both parties that doing so may be used for "quality" assurance purposes. Other employers video record employees, particularly those working around cash, to ensure theft does not occur. How ethicallay, and legally, right are these practices? This solution debates the topic in more than 500 words and includes a reference.