Employee Handbook Privacy Section

Essay by shanbananaA+, November 2006

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According to Connelly, Roberts, and McGivney, LLC (1998), "in today's workplace computers and electronic communications are the norm rather than the exception" (p. 1). With technology, rapidly advancing electronic communication is becoming essential. This creates a challenge for organizations on how and what to monitor when it comes to its employees. This paper will address the issue of privacy in the global workplace and give suggestions on what privacy rights issues should be addressed, as well as what the company's position should be in response to its privacy rights. Lastly, it will define how organizations privacy protections may limit the company's liability and how privacy protections enhance employee motivation and productivity.

Privacy Rights to be Addressed

The majority of employees expect to have a certain amount of privacy in the workplace. Nevertheless, there are times where the employer may have a justifiable reason to monitor or investigate the employee's within its organization.

The following provides some business practices that may be imposed to assure the honesty of the organization and the employees within the organization.

One privacy right that should be addressed is drug testing. Drug testing helps to ensure the safety of the workplace. According to Jankanish and Husbands (1993), "drug and alcohol testing programs should fit within existing arrangements for ensuring the quality of work life, employee rights, the safety, and security of the worksite, and employer rights and responsibilities (e.g. protection of the public interest)" (p. 105). The testing should ensure the worker's rights and confidentiality of the results.

Another issue to be addressed is background checks on potential new hires. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has set guidelines and standards for organizations to follow when implementing a background check. According to Alison Doyle (nd), "the FCRA defines a background check as a consumer report. Before...