Big Boss is Watching You

Essay by lekeshiawadeUniversity, Bachelor'sA, December 2004

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Big Boss is Watching You, Workplace Snooping Remains Privacy Quandary

Do you know you are being monitored at work? When asked to working employees most likely the answer is yes. In today's workplace employee's personal rights are being violated because companies are monitoring employee's activities ranging from emails, phone conversations, keystrokes, and many more. In addition, workplace monitoring is on the raise, nearly 75 percent American companies now use some kind of surveillance to spy on employees according to the 2000 report by the American Management Association.

Employers such as my company often uses software that enables them to see what is on their employees' screen or stored on their employees' computer terminals and hard drives.

Furthermore, word-processing and data-entry employees are subjected to keystroke monitoring where the employer can count the work performance each employee maintains. For example, our company had a system that would monitor employees' typing strokes to make sure that they meet their daily quota.

We also have software that our company uses to monitor the amount of time we are on the Internet and what websites we have been on to. Are all these monitoring legal? Yes it is.

Employers and employees are all subjected to privacy laws. The California Assembly has approved a bill, SB 1841, an act to add Section 436 to the Labor Code relating to electronic monitoring of employees. The bill requires employers to warn their employees if they plan to monitor workplace e-mail and Internet activities. Thus according to Tom Patterson, managing director for E0commerce transactions at KPMG, the general rule of thumb is that as well as the employer tells the employees what they will be doing then it is okay to monitor. That is exactly what our company did. Our company required all employees to sign a waiver...