With email and internet monitored, logins tracked, GPS units tracking where we drive and even little swipe cards we use to get into the office recording our every move, nothing is sacred anymore.
These things alone can show our bosses what we were looking up on the internet, how many hours we spent in the office and potentially everywhere we spent time out on the road as well.
How legal is it all? Can our employers just do what they want and get away with it? Well unfortunately, with certain limitations of course, yes they can.
When an employee enters an employer’s workplace, who happens to be paying them for their time, they give up many of their basic rights to privacy.
Can your employer legally intercept and read your work email?
In cases around the world the judicial system has normally found in favour of employers reading employees’ email as long as there is a business reason for doing so.
Remember your employer owns the email system that you are using, so he or she is well within their rights to ensure it’s being used for the appropriate reasons.
Jobhunters recommendation – Use your own private email for personal emails!
Can your employer monitor your internet usage?
Again because the employer owns the internet access that you are using, it is reasonable to assume that they can check that it is being utilized for business purposes.
Jobhunters recommendation – Only surf non business related sites during your breaks and only then if your company is okay with that. Otherwise save the surfing for your own time.
Can I get in trouble for what happens on Facebook or another social media site?
Yes, you can and here is an example.
You normally work weekends however you have a party to go to. You phone in sick so that you can go to the party and have a great night drinking and dancing with friends.
Unfortunately someone has a camera at the party and tags you in the photos, your boss knows someone who knows a friend of yours, sees the photos and then has proof that you lied about being sick.
Jobhunters recommendation – If you are going to pull sickies and then head out partying be prepared to get busted!
Can my employers read my text messages on my work phone?
From what we here at the Jobhunters team have managed to dig up, not easily. Obviously if they take possession of the phone they can see any texts left on there.
In certain court cases the police have been able to get hold of the content of text messages from the provider however it’s not a simple process and would need to be something pretty heavy in the first place.
Jobhunters recommendation – delete any text’s that you don’t want the boss seeing!
We haven’t covered every scenario however it’s clear to see that when it comes to the workplace your employer has a lot more rights than you do. Remember though they are paying you to do a job, and although it may seem like an invasion of privacy they are entitled to ensure they get their money’s worth.
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