While You Spy On Your Employees, You Need to Understand the Laws FirstMelissa Limaa
Nowadays, most of the offices have cameras to capture what is going on in the offices. Camera surveillance is purely for security reasons. Employees complain about theft and their things are stolen from the offices so the owners have to deal with such people and install security cameras for monitoring. This is the story of almost every office.
Monitoring Employees at Workplace in Different Ways
Going further, some companies use vehicle trackers in the vehicles offered by the company. That also seems to be for security reasons as sometimes cars are stolen. Many times, workers come with the excuses that office vehicle that they were given has been stolen. Issues like this are serious headaches for bosses and companies. They can’t afford to spend millions of dollars on facilities and they are stolen.
Going even further, companies use monitoring software to keep a check on the computer and device used by the employees. Some companies have rules when it comes to the use of company computers and devices. Yet, many employees never care about the rules so companies have to check their internet use, browsing history and other activities on computers and other office devices.
And now, many bosses use an employee monitoring app to keep eyes on the phone activities of their employees. This seems to be the advanced level monitoring of workers. Many people might not be fine with it but the companies continue to do so on the company phones, tablets, and other devices.
Is Monitoring Employees Legitimate and Fair?
Okay, companies do all this. But there are certain laws when it comes to employee monitoring, spying on their devices, tracking their GPS locations and even monitoring internet and computer use. There are also laws for cameras installed for security reasons. Every federal state has rules when it comes to vehicle trackers and other monitoring purposes. This is what we are going to discuss here today.
Bosses should understand federal laws regarding workplace surveillance and computer use monitoring. This is important because there can legal issues for the companies if the staff is monitored beyond certain limits. What the laws say, to what extent staff should be monitored, what kind of monitoring is allowed and what should be the purpose; these are things we will address in today’s post.
Every state has different laws when it comes to employee monitoring. The typical video surveillance for security reasons is fine. However, the cameras should be installed in common sitting areas. You have no permissions to record or film bathroom areas, kitchen sections or other private sections in the office.
What Do the Laws Says About Employee Monitoring?
The employees expect to be respected and their privacy should be maintained. Talking about computer use, the companies have permission to monitor the computer. However, there is a limitation to it as well. The employers should be informed before they are monitored. If the company doesn’t inform the staff, there are laws of every state that might apply to the companies.
The purpose of the surveillance should be for security. Most of the employees agree when they are informed they will be under surveillance when they are at the office. More than 70% of American people are not concerned if they are monitored as long as the company informs them and the organization is transparent about monitoring.
Employees now understand the need for surveillance because stealing things and thefts have become common in offices. Even some employees share secrets and credentials of the organizations with other companies and competitors. So they understand all this and have no reservation on it until it is done within limits and in a transparent way.
Amazon has registered a patent for a wristband that employees will wear and it will vibrate when they will do something wrong or incorrect. In the case of Amazon, the purpose is to improve productivity and speed up the work process. Employees have no issues with it because everything is transparent. Even another tech firm uses chips for the employees and they are under surveillance as long as they are at work.
Companies Should Practice Transparency in Monitoring
Monitoring devices, computers, tracking weekly GPS locations and using security cameras in the workplace- everything is fine until it is done in a legitimate manner. If you track browsing the history of the employees, there should be transparency about it. Their private items should not be shared with anyone. The company is responsible if anything goes against the rules and workplace ethics.
The experts believe companies should do such things and monitor the employees but with their consent. The employees should be informed if they are to be monitored. This will make them feel comfortable. Even with such measures, the productivity of employees increases as they know they are under the supervision and can be called for any illegal activity or computer use.
The use of an employee monitoring app that tracks locations, Takes screenshots, records videos, and audios, tracks browsing the history, has to access messages and multimedia and other things on the employee’s device are beyond limits. All states have different laws for this but informing workers is compulsory in such cases.