Do you like to spy on your employees? Do you intervene in the privacy of your employees? If yes, then you need to change your approach to avoid any legal complication. You cannot spy on your employees without their consent and cannot use their personal cell phones and computer without prior notice. Though you can supervise the activities of your employees during the office hours, but you cannot interfere in their privacy. In this article, you will come to know both about your legal jurisdictions and employee’s privacies. A proper balance between these two will create a healthy employer-employee relationship.
Employer’s Legitimate Interests
You can interfere in the following activities of your employees.
You have the right to monitor, record, and listen to the phone calls of your employees if it is made by your system. You have the right to check the cell phones, text messages, and voice mail if the phone is provided by you and it is dedicated to the official works. This is legal and comes within your jurisdiction.
Similarly, if the computers are provided by you for the official work, then you have the right to check all the data and to verify other materials that include emails.
You have the right to check the accounts those are used for the official work. But you cannot check those personal accounts those are created and protected by the password for the personal use of the employees. If you try to do so that will be considered unethical and illegal and the employees will have to right to take legal action against you.
Monitoring and Surveillance
An employer has the right to monitor its property with cameras, mostly the public and the common areas. But he cannot install cameras in changing areas, locker rooms, bathrooms and some other areas those are considered private and are not subjected to monitoring.
Privacy of the Employees
The employers do not have any right to check the personal phones of the employees. He cannot monitor the texts, calls, and voicemails of a personal phone. But if an employee is spending more time on the phones during the office hours then it might come to the notice of the employer and he might try to know the reason.
If an employer is using an office computer for sending the emails, then he needs to be extra careful as it can be stored in the backup. In that case, any legal procedure cannot help. And the employer can use that information for the office use.
An employer cannot violate his employee’s privacy rights by using his personal laptop and the cell phones without the employee’s permission. But if the employees use the personal laptop for a long time for some personal work in the office and it comes to the notice of the employers then it might be questionable.
It is always important to respect the privacy of your employees and similarly, the employees should be committed towards the work during the office hours. Any diversion will complicate the situation.