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Employee Privacy Rights Violation

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Read the 2 cases below and respond to each case. Please Include references

Case #1
The FBI received a tip that an employee of an IT company was accessing child pornography from his workplace computer. When approached by the FBI, the company confirmed that the employee had regularly visited the web sites. Company officials entered the employee's office in the evening and made copies of the contents of his computer's hard drive. All of the computers in the workplace were the property of the employer, and the employer was able to monitor all employees' Internet activity. When they were hired, employees were told that their computer should not be used for personal business. The employee was the only user of the office, and it was kept locked. A password created by the employee was needed t use the computer. After the employee was arrested and charged with crimes, he argued that the FBI had violated his constitutional rights by searching his computer without a warrant.

Question: Did this employee have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of his work computer? Did the government violate his constitutional rights by conducting an illegal search?

Case #2
School officials suspected that a physical education teacher was stealing money from students. Two hidden video cameras were placed in his office. The office was also used by other gym teachers and was where the teachers changed their clothes. The office was located in the boys' locker room and was accessible only by walking through the locker room. The cameras recorded and stored camera images for thirty days. It was unclear whether any school officials actually watched any live images from the cameras or reviewed the tapes. When a teacher discovered the cameras, he sued.

Question: Were the privacy rights of the teachers violated? Provide the rationale in support of your answer.

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Case #1: Did this employee have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of his work computer? Did the government violate his constitutional rights by conducting an illegal search?

Admittedly, in spite of the existence of many laws safeguarding the rights of both employer and employee in the use of employer provided technology devices, what constitute the violation of these rights are still not very clear. Fortunately for us, there have been several cases that have made a jurisprudence on this issue.

One of these cases is Watkins v. L. M. Berry & Co. where employee-plaintiff Carmie Watkins sued employer-defendant Berry Co. for monitoring a personal call. Though Berry Co. explicitly permits the use of work telephones for personal calls, employees were not told that such calls would be monitored. The Court of Appeals judged that:
"Consent is not to be cavalierly implied. Title III expresses a strong purpose to protect individual privacy by strictly limiting the occasion on which interception may lawfully take place . . . . [K]nowledge of the capability of monitoring alone cannot be considered implied consent."

What this means for our current case is that it is not enough for the IT company to claim that the suing employee had been informed about the prohibition of using office computer for personal business. The law requires that employers also explicitly inform their employees that such personal uses are monitored and the data being monitored will be stored. The case of Watkins v. L. M. Berry & Co. is clear that monitoring employee usage of office computers is an ordinary course of business but it is also clear that whether the interception of personal use is also in the ordinary course of business is to be debatable, usually in a court of law.

We can therefore argue that the employee have reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of his work computer since the prohibition was on the use of the said work computer for personal use, but there was no ...

Solution Summary

This response comments on two separate cases discussing whether each scenario has violated employee privacy rights.

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True or False: Congress has enacted legislation that requires employers to hire certain individual or groups of individuals.

True or False Questions
1. T__ F__ Congress has enacted legislation that requires employers to hire certain individual or groups of individuals.

3. T__ F__ Symons, a member of the United States Communist Party, is refused a job because of her gender. Title VII provides her with a right of action against the employer, for sex discrimination.

5. T__ F__ If someone is not disabled, but others believe she is, that person is not protected against discrimination.

7. T__ F__ After seven months of negotiations, the union representing the Trout Mfg. Employees has failed to reach an acceptable collective bargaining agreement. Trout Mfg. locks out its employees. This is an unfair labor practice.
9. T__ F__ While driving his boss home from work, a part of his normal duties, Garvey is injured. Because he was injured away from the work premises, Garvey's injury will not be covered by worker's compensation.

11. T__ F__ Under certain circumstances, the FLSA allows an employer to engage in wage discrimination against disabled employees.

Multiple Choice

13. The Civil Rights Act of 1964
a. amended the Civil Rights Act of 1866 to permit jury trials in employment discrimination cases.
b. brought an end to the Vietnam War.
c. created the legal basis for nondiscrimination in housing, education, public accommodations, federally assisted programs and employment.
d. overruled Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.

15. The requirement that complained of behavior must be severe and pervasive for it to amount to actionable sexual harassment, means
a. it must be more than occasional or it must be very serious in degree.
b. it must cause severe psychological harm to the victim.
c. that it be part of a protracted and determined campaign of harassment.
d. that it involve physical, as well as emotional, abuse.

19. Government employees and employees of government contractors generally receive more privacy protection than private sector employees
a. because most privacy protection law is federal.
b. unless they have worked abroad.
c. because most privacy protection law is rooted in the Constitution, which limits the acts of governments but not private employers.
d. because most privacy protection law is aimed at protecting government secrets than at preserving the right of privacy of ordinary citizens.

21. Madison could be held criminally liable in the wake of injuries to employees at his company, arising out of previously cited, but uncorrected violations of OSHA regulations if
a. he is a corporate officer in a position of authority who supervised the activities that gave rise to the violations.
b. he knew of the hazards that gave rise to the citations.
c. he knew of the citations.
d. he was aware of the activities that gave rise to the violations.

23. Marx is a traveling furniture sales person for City Sofa Co. This past week she spent five hours in the office, and forty hours traveling and making sales calls. She is paid by the hour, at a rate of $15.00 per hour. Her gross pay for that week was $675.00.
a. Marx has been underpaid, because time worked over 40 hours per week is compensable at 1.5 times employee's basic hourly rate, which means that she should have been paid $712.50
b. Marx has not been underpaid, because the overtime pay provisions of the FLSA apply only to work performed at the employer's place of business.
c. Marx has not been underpaid, because the overtime pay provisions of the FLSA do not apply to employees engaged in outside sales.
d. Marx has been underpaid, because time worked over 40 hours per week is compensable at 1.5 times employee's basic hourly rate, which means that she should have been paid $1012.00.

25. In Moreau v Klevenhagen, the U.S. Supreme Court held that
a. overtime provisions do not apply to sales persons.
b. it is lawful, under the FLSA, to require state and local law enforcement officials to accept compensatory time off, in lieu of over time pay.
c. the FLSA requires employers to engage in affirmative action hiring.
d. it is unlawful, under the FLSA, to give state and local law enforcement officials compensatory time off, in lieu of overtime pay.

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