Spying On Your Employees? Better Understand the Law First

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    From eliminating distractions to adding technological automation, there are numerous ways businesses can improve workplace productivity. One such method is the use of surveillance and tracking methods.

    Using video surveillance strengthens your business’s security measures and productivity. Catching a thief on camera reduces shrinkage costs. Employee tracking and monitoring systems serve other important purposes. The main goals behind employee monitoring are to prevent internal theft, examine employee productivity, ensure company resources are being appropriately used and to provide evidence for any litigation. Time and attendance systems give your business a record of when employees work and take paid time off (PTO). This can be valuable should a dispute over hours or vacation time ever become a lawsuit.

    Beyond simple video surveillance in the workplace, employers can install monitoring software on company computers, and GPS fleet-tracking tech can be installed on company vehicles. Some business owners may not know how far they can or should extend their authority to monitor employee activity.

    Federal and most state privacy laws give discretion to employers as to how far they can go with their employee monitoring program. In some cases, employers do not have to inform employees they are being monitored, but this depends on state and local laws. Some regulations require employee consent.

    “As a general rule, employees have little expectation of privacy while on company grounds or using company equipment, including company computers or vehicles,” said Matt C. Pinsker, adjunct professor of homeland security and criminal justice at Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Monitoring must be within reason. For example, video surveillance can be conducted in common areas and entrances; however, surveillance in bathrooms or locker rooms is strictly prohibited and opens a company up to legal repercussions.

    Video surveillance doesn’t need to be explicitly disclosed to employees and agreed to by your workforce. However, visible signage stating that the premises are monitored by security cameras can be enough to cover legal and ethical grounds. Also, just the knowledge that cameras are monitoring everything is enough to prevent internal theft by employees.

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    Read more: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6685-employee-monitoring-privacy.html

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