Should Worker Electronic-Privacy Rights Be Upheld?

Advocates say firms should define their policies; opposition says bosses can monitor what they pay for.

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It’s generally agreed that there are legitimate reasons for bosses to check up on employees’ electronic communication, such as protecting intellectual property or preventing harassment. But must a firm continue to spell out its policy for it to be valid?
Edited by Steve St. Angelo

Yes

By Lewis Maltby
President of the National Workrights Institute in Princeton, N.J., which fights for employee rights

Is it unreasonable to expect your boss to keep his word? The recent privacy case of Quon v. Arch Wireless raises the simple but important question of whether public employers must be honest with employees about their monitoring practices. Look at the case as the equivalent of the children’s game of making up something untrue and then saying, “It doesn’t count. I had my fingers crossed.” Before long, reasonable individuals...

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No

By Mitch Danzig
San Diego-based attorney with the law firm Mintz Levin LLC specializing in labor issues

Employers provide workers with devices and give them access to E-mail, the Internet, and instant messaging to make them more efficient as employees. Technology-related budgets are constantly increasing to keep up with improvements. It defies logic to say that employees should be able to send personal messages on company time and property without being subject to employer review. This is like...

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