Its None Of Your Business Or Is It?

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Pamela P. Stokes
Sharon Polansky

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Abstract

Workplace privacy is a growing area of concern for employees, companies, legislatures, and the courts.  With increasing pressures to improve productivity and profitability, employers are taking advantage of various methods to monitor and control the activities of their employees – both on and off the job.  In addition, improved technology is affecting not only the manner in which employers gather such information, but also the location, time, and way in which employees perform their jobs.  A survey was conducted to gather perceptions about whether or not employers should be able to take certain actions or gather certain information in ten specific areas. The results provide insights into the three practices deemed most objectionable as well as the three areas of least concern.  Court opinions and the professional literature relating to these topics are reviewed.  Finally, the law, literature, and survey results are synthesized to produce a series of practical recommendations to help employers and employees deal with workplace privacy in a legal, practical and constructive manner.

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