Privacy in the Employee Handbook Essay

The Employee handbook plays an important role In communicating the organization’s policies as well as rules and regulations. It gives the employee a source to understand some of the responsibilities, benefits, wages, appraisals and restrictions of both the employee and the employer. One of the mall areas of the handbook deals with privacy issues in the workplace. There are several areas to consider when writing a privacy policy.

These areas include: the privacy rights issues that are addressed, the company’s position in response to privacy rights issues, privacy retentions to limit the company’s liability, privacy protections to enhance employee motivation and productivity, ethical considerations and different ways to address state, federal, and international laws. What to Include Employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy within the workplace; however there are circumstances when an employer has a legitimate right to monitor, Investigate, and review the activities of Its employees.The following Identifies business practices that may be executed to ensure the integrity of company products and property, workplace safety, and the monitoring of employee productivity. SEARCHES Physical Searches – the physical search of a person or their belongings may be warranted in the event of a reasonable belief suggesting violation of company rules and regulations or unlawful activity. Video Surveillance – video surveillance Is conducted to monitor the satellites of our visitors and employees.

This monitoring Is conducted wealth open and public areas of our facility.COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS Internet, E-mail, Voice mail – the internal communication systems, as well as the equipment and data stored, are and remain at all times the property of the Company. Accordingly, all messages and files created, sent, received or stored within the system should be related to Company business only.

It should be noted that although a message or file is deleted or erased, it is still possible to retrieve the message; therefore, ultimate privacy of messages cannot be assured. The Company reserves the right to routinely monitor usage patterns of Its e-mail and Internet communications.Medical Information – the privacy rules outlined under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HAIFA) prohibits the Company from disclosing retorted health information (PHI) to anyone without a signed authorization from the employee. Pre-employment Practices – it is the company’s policy to conduct thorough background investigations on all new hires. At a minimum, the following checks are completed: Education Verifications Employment Verifications Criminal Records Search Social Security Trace Privacy Rights Issues rhea Privacy Commission, ( Section 5 of the original Privacy Act of 1974 established the ‘U.S. Privacy Protection Study Commission” recommends any policy with respect to privacy contain at least five basic elements or procedural rights to the employee.

Hess include (1) notice, (2) authorization, (3) access, (4) correction and (5) confidentiality. These issues and others are addressed so that both employer and employee rights are respected. (www. Suds]. Gob) ay providing written notice, the employer reserves the right to enter and inspect areas such as lockers, desks, and computers when reasonable cause indicates the rights or concerns of the employer are in Jeopardy.Employees have no expectation of privacy in regards to e-mail, vocalism, computer usage and that phone extensions are not private.

Therefore, to protect the company interests; the company reserves he right to monitor communications. Liability Improper use creates the potential for harassment or enabling a hostile work environment. Limiting use prevents legal problems Right to search may corroborate or exonerate Inappropriate use of electronic technology, regardless of the motivation, may harm Intended work related purpose creates a potential liability for the employer, thus we have a clear interest in limiting the use of technology.

Productivity Nile incidental use of the Internet, voice communication, personal email or other electronic means of communication may occur, it does not absolve the employee room their responsibilities to do the work they were for. Technology may change as developments take place, monitoring will occur for the purpose of managing the Norfolk, measuring performance, protecting assets or proprietary information or other interests of the employer.Security rhea use of passwords by employees does not in itself suggest any level of privacy, but further protects the interests of the employee and employees by having applications or other systems compromised by being unsecured. Therefore, all employees have a responsibility to protect their passwords and the systems to which they have access.

Employees with access to sensitive information about other employees and work technologies have a responsibility to protect that information and only use it within the scope of their Job responsibilities.Employee Relations Limit right-to-search to reasonable cause, that which protects the interest of the employer and its’ employees, and not be intrusive in nature. Employees will have access to their own personnel file for review and correction. Medical records and other personal information about an employee will only be released with the employee’s consent.

Employer will protect employees’ information and ensure that any personal data is accurate and reliable. Employer reserves the right to release information when the public interest is at stake or to comply with federal or state laws.Ethical Issues Ethical issues are our moral standards of what is right and wrong.

The golden rule states for us to do unto others as we would want others to do unto us. This is our application to the privacy section of our handbook and how all areas will be addressed and determined. The company code of business ethics includes guides for ‘ITIL for establishing the trust necessary for all successful relationships and will deter position the company to retain its customers, employees and our stock holders. Dress Code rhea company states that appropriate casual attire for men include polo or oxford shirts with wrinkle-free pants such as “khakis. In addition, they should have a sport coat or blazer and neck tie kept in the office in case a need arises requiring a more professional “look”.

Women also must dress appropriately which means a skirt and sweater set, nice slacks with appropriate blouse. Clingy and revealing tops are not acceptable in the workplace. Flip-flop sandals are also inappropriate for office wear. Nile the company does allow casual attire, sloppiness is not acceptable and an employee may be sent home to change to proper clothes if they appear to look offensive.Tattoos are offensive to some individuals and if an employee is working directly with customer, the company has the right to require the tattoo be covered with long sleeves or high neck collars. Marketplace Communications Discussing political views and life style preferences are acceptable in the workplace providing they do not overlap into the Job functions of the employees. Break time discussions can be enlightening (or horrific) but the probability of this carrying over onto the office causes room for concern.

People in this Century can be volatile and create an adverse atmosphere in a working environment.The employees do have the right to free speech but the employer needs to limit it to break times and lunch periods. “When it comes to discussing politics and its effect on your career, you may benefit from a nugget of advice from the 23rd US President, Calvin Coolidge. His Insight: “No man ever listened himself out of a Job (wall. Com Para 11).

” Can the employer act base on employee’s private lives? Depending on an employees work performance, an employer may act base on the employee’s private life. Companies are very concerned about this issue and how to treat employees who may have personal problems.