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Electronic Monitoring
National Summary
Electronic monitoring may include observing an employee’s use of Internet or e-mail services, video surveillance, tracking by global positioning system (GPS) devices, ensuring proper use of telephone equipment and voice mail, and audio surveillance of employees. Employers should be aware that each type of surveillance raises privacy issues.
The growth of workplace technology has resulted in litigation over how to balance the employer’s right to control his or her workplace with the employee’s right to privacy. Workplace policies and rules should protect both the employer’s business interests and the rights of employees. It is advisable to seek the assistance of an attorney before drafting a policy on monitoring employees.
Employers must communicate and distribute these policies to employees to ensure that employees understand what is expected of them. Employers should include the policies in their employee handbooks and review the policy with new employees at orientation. Employers should have employees sign an acknowledgment that they have received and understand the policies.
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