Research Papers Privacy Rights Of Employees In Workplaces

Research Papers Privacy Rights Of Employees In Workplaces-87
The issue of workplace privacy is receiving much attention in academic literature throughout the world.Some have pushed reality to its limit, describing frightening scenarios in which employers will one day have the ability to monitor and control employee conduct both within and outside of the workplace.

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Surveillance of employees may also take place outside of work through, for example, the use of private investigators.

It may be undertaken to ascertain whether an employee is abusing sick leave or is engaging in 'undesirable' conduct.[12] Such surveillance has obvious privacy issues as it occurs outside the workplace in the employee's own time.

Obviously the threat to privacy from such monitoring is that the employer will discover personal information about an employee from reading the employee's personal emails to friends and family or from information gathered about the type of websites the employee visits.

Psychological or personality testing will generally take place in the pre-employment stage, but may also be used during employment for making decisions on promotions and other job related decisions.

For example, some psychological tests ask questions about a person's sexual, religious, political and social attitudes.

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[15] There is also concern as to whom the results of these tests are made available.The concern for privacy is when tests are used to determine an applicant's general level of health or fitness.General medical tests may be carried out by an employer in an attempt to predict the applicant's potential use of sick leave, or absenteeism.[17] Health checks may be required by the employer's insurer when medical insurance coverage is part of the employment package.[18] The employer may also be concerned to minimise accident compensation levies under the Injury, Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001.Third, these laws will be applied to the identified workplace privacy issues and their effectiveness at protecting worker privacy will be analysed.Finally, suggestions will be made as to potential reform.What is clear from a review of the current law affecting the privacy rights of workers in New Zealand is that, while far from unregulated, there are many occasions where the interests of employers will trump an employee's privacy rights.Concern for privacy rights suggests a need for reform of the existing law.There will be occasions where the right must yield to competing interests.[7] Such limitations are readily apparent when one considers the privacy of employees in the workplace.This paper will focus on three specific categories of privacy invasive activities in the employment and pre-employment relationship: surveillance; monitoring; and, physical and psychological testing.It may also involve observation of an employee in his or her own home.The monitoring of an employee's work can take place in a number of ways.

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