AFFIRMATIVE EMPLOYMENT WORKPLACE SPYING SIGNIFICANCE 279
WORKPLACE SPYING SERIOUSLY INFRINGES ON WORKER PRIVACY
WORKERS HAVE TO LEAVE THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO PRIVACY AT HOME WHEN THEY GO TO WORK
EVE TAHMINCIOGLU, St. Petersburg Times, February 01, 1999, SECTION: BUSINESS; COVER STORY; Pg. 11 TITLE: BUSINESS TOOL OR BIG BROTHER? // acs-EE2001
Critics think the dash to use such techniques is infringing on employees' already flimsy rights to privacy on the job.
"There is a complete lack of freedom in the American workplace," said Jeremy Gruber, legal director of the Workplace Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in Princeton. "Electronic monitoring is one of those places where it's most apparent."
"Most people who work for private employers," he said, "have their constitutional rights put in the garbage for eight to 10 hours a day."
Today about 67 percent of companies practice at least one form of electronic monitoring and surveillance, according to the American Management Association of New York. That is up from 63.4 percent in 1997, the first year the association began tracking such monitoring.
"This stuff is coming into the workplace in a rush," said Eric Greenberg, director of management studies for the management association.
MANY WORKERS MUST SACRIFICE THEIR PRIVACY AND SELF-RESPECT IN ORDER TO HAVE A JOB
Barbara Ehrenreich; The New York Times, March 5, 2000, SECTION: Section 6; Page 88; TITLE: Warning: This Is a Rights-Free Workplace // acs-VT2001
In the latest phase of America's one-sided class war, employers have taken to monitoring employees' workplace behavior right down to a single computer keystroke or bathroom break, even probing into their personal concerns and leisure activities. Sure, there's a job out there for anyone who can get to an interview sober and standing upright. The price, though, may be one's basic civil rights and -- what boils down to the same thing -- self-respect.
ON THE JOB YOU ARE A CITIZEN OF A POLICE STATE, WITH NO PRIVACY
MARLA DICKERSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER, Los Angeles Times, June 7, 1999, SECTION: Business; Part C2; TITLE: CAREERS / TRUST YOUR BOSS // acs-VT2001
Imagine crossing a border each day into a world where officials can search your belongings, monitor your phone conversations, read your personal e-mail, secretly videotape your actions, subject you to physical and psychological testing--and you are powerless to stop them.
If that sounds like China or one of the former Eastern Bloc countries, think again. That border is the workplace door here in the United States. And those officials are employers, who routinely encroach on the privacy of workers in ways that police or the government wouldn't dare attempt without a search warrant.
Your boss doesn't want you to know it, but every day, you forfeit some privacy for the opportunity to earn a paycheck. Courts have determined time and again that El Jefe has the right to spy on you at work as long as there is business justification for doing so. In most cases, your only recourse, if you don't like it, is to quit.
YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO PRIVACY AT WORK
Liz Stevens, KNIGHT RIDDER NEWS SERVICE Staff writer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, October 6, 1999, SECTION: NEWS Pg. A-1 TITLE: Careful! Your boss may be eavesdropping; Two-thirds of U.S. businesses spy on employees, study finds // acs-EE2001
Big Brother is watching. And it's increasingly likely that the Omniscient One is your boss.
She might be recording the casual conversations between you and a co-worker, or tracking e-mails on your company computer, or watching the goings-on in the staff lounge.
Sound like an invasion of your privacy? Think again. Most employee monitoring in the workplace is perfectly legal, and it happens more than most people realize.
"There's a lot of misunderstanding about it," says William Hubbartt, a human resources management consultant in Illinois. "People think, 'I have my rights,' but I found out after doing my research that, unfortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Employee, you don't."
WORKPLACE PRIVACY IS FACING A RISK OF EXTINCTION
Rod Dixon, an attorney at the U.S. Department of Education, "With Nowhere to Hide: Workers are Scrambling for Privacy in the Digital Age," Journal of Technology Law and Policy, Spring 1999, 4 J. Tech. L. & Pol'y 1, EE2001-JGM, P.9
There are no laws prohibiting employers from using digital surveillance n19 to monitor employees in the modern American workplace. n20 In this respect, the Orwellian nightmare of the Thought Police and Big Brother appears to reflect reality and has several disturbing similarities to the current widespread use of surveillance technology in American workplaces. n21 Employers now have an unprecedented ability to monitor virtually every aspect of an employee's activities throughout the day using video surveillance, electronic eavesdropping, n22 and a wide variety of computer monitoring techniques. n23 The presence of surveillance technology n24 has become so ubiquitous that it appears as if the right of privacy for employees is facing inevitable extinction. n25
WORKPLACE PRIVACY IS UNDER ATTACK
Nadine Strossen, law professor at New York Law School AND president of the American Civil Liberties Union, PANEL DISCUSSION: CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES TO PRIVACY RIGHTS, New York Law School Law Review , 1999, 43 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 195, EE2001-JGM, P.
Another aspect of privacy that is now under attack is autonomy vis-a-vis employers. We see more and more employers extending their control over employees' private lives by intruding into their homes and into their non-working time, by completely prohibiting employees from engaging in certain kinds of conduct, even in the privacy of their own homes and during their leisure time. Common examples include the prohibition of smoking, drinking, and other activities that are considered dangerous, such as skiing or motorcycling. One of the most recent manifestations of this type of privacy invasion is employers firing employees for completely off-the-job, online activity - creating their own Web sites or engaging in other online communications on their own home computers. Here again, we see the synergistic effect of privacy and free speech rights - or, sadly, privacy and free speech violations.
THE DIGITAL WORKPLACE INCREASES THE CHANCE OF BOTH EMPLOYEE SABOTAGE AND INVASIONS OF EMPLOYEE PRIVACY
Rod Dixon, an attorney at the U.S. Department of Education, "With Nowhere to Hide: Workers are Scrambling for Privacy in the Digital Age," Journal of Technology Law and Policy, Spring 1999, 4 J. Tech. L. & Pol'y 1, EE2001-JGM, P.8
Although hackers have been exploiting security weaknesses of computer systems and have been viewed as external threats to networks connected to the Internet for years, the increasing number of employers who have connected to the Internet has brought to the forefront a more serious threat: employee sabotage from inside the organization. n18 The threat of employee sabotage coupled with the rapid growth and reliance on interconnected computers, have turned Cyberspace and some work spaces into a veritable electronic frontier. Undoubtedly, the need to secure information from those who might damage expensive computer systems or conduct economic espionage or perform some other havoc has never been greater. The concomitant risk that employers may implement digital surveillance and monitoring systems that require employees to surrender substantial privacy interests is also greater than ever before. In most cases, a prudent approach to this problem involves a simply stated, but notably difficult solution; namely, selecting an appropriate level of monitoring or protection of the employer's network, while ensuring that the security measures adopted do not breach the fundamental privacy interests' of employees.