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Privacy (including E-mail and Internet)
National Summary
Privacy in the workplace requires a delicate balancing act between the right of employers to control their workplaces and employees’ expectation of privacy. Although many employees claim a right to privacy for their individual workstations, computer files, telephone conversations, and e-mail, employers often have the legitimate right to monitor such activity and to inspect and review all related records. In fact, for employers that are engaged in particularly sensitive or competitive industries, such as the manufacture of drugs or the development of national defense systems, monitoring and investigating the workplace and after-hours activities of employees may be a compelling and entirely lawful act. The increased role and use of computers in the workplace have also presented employers with an entire set of new problems to worry about in the form of identity theft and security breaches.
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