Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace Essays

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Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace
Employee privacy rights have been the topic of great debate in recent years. This essay will examine: the definition of privacy, employers rights to access activities done in the workplace, to whom the resources such as time and equipment belong, and employee monitoring as an invasion of privacy or a performance evaluation tool. These are the core issues of the employee privacy rights controversy. Employee privacy rights should only be applicable to the personal activities that must take place during working hours. Activities occurring on company time are the property of the employer, and therefore, are not the private property of the employee. Employee privacy rights in the workplace should be
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The employer has an obligation to its' share holders to ensure that in forty hours work paid for, forty hours worth of work are completed. The time spent on personal matters during the working hours takes away from the employees' productivity. The employee may even be using company resources in addition to their own time to achieve personal tasks.
In today's world a list of businesses using email and Internet as professional tools would be almost endless. For most people email and Internet are an integral part of the workday. The employer pays to maintain the computer, Intranet structure, and Internet connections used by the employee. The cost of technology is considerable. Any execution of personal tasks on the employers' equipment is an added expense on the mounting technology costs. Misspent time and resources are a form of corporate theft.
If an employer has the ability to monitor for theft of time and resources, is there not an obligation to do so? Let's say, for example, that one employee types four personal emails a week at five minutes spent per email. The total amount of time paid for but improperly utilized for a company with ten employees is one-hundred and seventy three hours annually or one month's total working hours for one full time employee (FTE). Looking at these staggering numbers, now consider that the employer has one hundred twenty FTEs; the time wasted is equitant to one additional FTE