Social Impact of Business: Right of Privacy
There has been an ongoing discussion between companies and employees about the right to privacy while working. Both parties hold opposing views regarding what information should be revealed and what shouldn’t. The extent to which an employer may openly search an employee’s property or themselves is regulated by law. They must also use caution while observing their employees’ behavior, speech, and emails, as well as when prying into their private lives, particularly when those activities have little to do with their jobs. Some employees feel that the right to privacy should be extended to the workplace due to the conduct of a peer or simply because they are interested in the private lives of others. Additionally, some workers believe the extension would constitute an unjustified violation of management’s right to manage.
However, if a manager has proof, the policy should state that “no manager should violate any employee’s privacy or their own without having probable cause.” The managers will feel more at ease managing their personnel because they won’t feel awkward digging into their employees’ privacy or asking them uncomfortable questions. In this post, I’ll be debating a topic and providing examples of electronic surveillance, workplace romance, employee drug testing, and employee honesty testing. Some employees were forced to relinquish their privacy rights because they feared being fired or receiving a written reprimand. I’ll also go into whether or not it’s appropriate for companies to keep an eye on employee behavior.
Any time a company undergoes a change that impacts its privacy, it will also impact how managers or supervisors oversee their staff. When a manager electronically monitors an employee, they are using electronic monitoring. Such as reviewing the emails an employee sends while utilizing business technologies. The company Sociometric Solutions creates “employee wearable sensor-rich badges. They have a position sensor, an accelerometer, and tiny microphones. (Page 337 of Lawrence and Weber) These will help the employers determine the employee’s location. Companies that compete with other retailers will have an electronic monitoring system that will alert them if any employee is divulging information about a new product. Another justification for electronic staff monitoring. When an employee downloads pornographic images onto a work computer. (Page 337 of Lawrence and Weber) Thanks to contemporary technologies, employers can now monitor their employees at work or home.
Additionally, because company emails are company property, employers have the right to watch over employees who use them to send private information to a relative. Every manager and supervisor must walk a tight line because of the law governing the right to privacy. In addition, if they do not exercise caution, it can result in a lawsuit that the business or organization would have to defend in court against an employee fighting in the United States for the breach of their rights. The management is responsible for monitoring their personnel in case of theft or sabotage concerning the firm and its products.
Working together romantically
This problem has existed for many years. Workplace romance can save time and money for businesses and organizations. Let’s start by discussing management’s relationship with a staff member. When it comes to a boss dating an employee, no firm or organization enjoys being in the media. When colleagues inform senior management that the boss favors his lover, it is acceptable in certain organizations but problematic in others. According to the reader, a poll revealed that 38% of workers admitted to dating a coworker at least once over their careers and that close to a third of these relationships ended in marriage. (Page 338 of Lawrence and Weber) According to this survey, it can work out between two, but what about the other 62 percent? Does this imply that only 38% of the workers were truthful or that 62% consciously chose not to be genuine?
If one of the employees decides they want to date someone else at work, this romance problem in the office could become problematic. Or a coworker might try to ruin the other’s efforts in retaliation for the strained relationship. The company will then be put in the middle of the sexual harassment lawsuit against the individual.
As a result, a lot of supervisors oppose workplace dating. They want them to treat each other as peers and keep personal matters out of the workplace. When relationships fail, one of the people usually loses their job, goes to jail, is abused, or passes away. Therefore, management should wait to date their employees since they have more power. The worker might get the short end of the stick. And asking managers to sign a document declaring they cannot interact with their staff will benefit the firm or organization.
Testing for drug use among employees is forbidden to use drugs at work or to test positive for drugs there.
However, some businesses or organizations permit marijuana use among employees but not cocaine or crack. Although not all employees use drugs at work, a small percentage do, and these drugs are much more dangerous than marijuana or crack. Although some workers use these drugs to improve the quality of their work, they “produce poor-quality work, have accidents that hurt themselves or others, and steal from their employers.” (Page 339 of Lawrence and Weber)
There are techniques to keep drugs out of the workplace. One method is drug testing, which may be done at the start of employment and randomly for all employees. The first time that drug testing was used was after the “passage of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.” (Page 339 of Lawrence and Weber) This law requires that no drugs be used at work or by federal independent contractors. These businesses and organizations should test before, during, and if there is a reason to. And I’ll leave the punishment to the head Manager if they test positive.
Employee Fraud and Integrity
Employee theft and dishonesty is a problem that has surfaced in numerous enterprises and businesses. However, employees should be aware of the repercussions of stealing from their workplace. The “economy, social, and ethical problem within the workplace” and the organization will suffer. (Page 341, Lawrence and Weber) The workplace should be included in this discussion. Background investigations and criminal history checks are done for a cause. Organizations and businesses should use the Department of Safety and other organizations that perform the background check for a little price to check the possible employee due to employee theft and being discovered lying.
But this problem should not justify an unwarranted intrusion into management. Therefore, the CEO or President of each organization or company and the human resources department should have the authority to decide when and where prospective and current employees must take a test. The polygraph, one of the tests employees have been undergoing, is not supposed to be used as frequently as it once was. There are some situations where polygraph and honesty tests should be employed. And especially if it involves theft that exceeds a set threshold, missing goods, or even theft by two employees that was observed by another employee but was not reported. Some locations that administer these tests are prohibited from using them in court by local regulations or are not permitted access to a courtroom. Both exams can potentially produce a negative result, and the employee might file a lawsuit if the result is incorrect with proof that they did not steal anything or pass the honesty test.
Employers should keep an eye on their employees’ behavior for several reasons. One example might be a pattern of theft, bad behavior, or being late to work or other places. Another instance may be when a new product is released, and the rivals are unaware of the launch date. The dishonest employee could steal the date and give it to the rival. Employees are being watched because they handle a lot of goods that, if stolen or destroyed, might cost the business millions of dollars. By way of illustration, it might be “appropriate for the boss to know that an employee is discussing with a competitor, through e-mail messages, the specification of a newly developed product not yet on the market.” p. 336 of Lawrence and Weber’s book
There is even another reason why it is improper for employers to watch over employees’ actions. One of those reasons can be that the worker has a medical condition for which the HIPPA Act forbids employers from disclosing their medical information.
For instance, many people think “that their religious and political views, health conditions, credit history, and what they do and say off the job are private matters and should be safe from snooping by the boss.” p. 336 of Lawrence and Weber’s book The fact that every employee has a constitutional right to privacy at work is another reason employers shouldn’t be able to monitor behavior. This occurs when management wants to avenge an employee who has come out with information about wrongdoing by the manager. Additionally, the employer would be looking for something unrelated to their jobs to report to fire the whistleblower.
Lawrence, A. T., & Weber, J. (2017). Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy (15th ed.). United States: McGraw-Hill Education Create
O’Neill, H. (2017, July 25). Your Boss Is Watching You: How Far Should Employers Go with Employee Monitoring? Retrieved May 12, 2020, from https://www.bold.com/transformation-in-the-workplace/your-boss-is-watching/
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BU360 Social Impact of Business
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Some people believe that the right to privacy should be extended to the workplace. Others feel that, on the contrary, such an extension would constitute an unwarranted incursion into the management’s right to manage.
1. Please comment on this debate, using examples from the text discussion of electronic monitoring, romance in the workplace, employee drug testing, and employee honesty testing.
2. Are there particular circumstances und
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