Invasion of privacy in the workplace is a burning topic. There are privacy laws in place and they apply to all citizens, regardless of where one works. However, there are only some lucid areas where privacy laws can be enforced or applied. Whenever a situation has two or more versions and there can be a prospect of the action being valid or right, it is then that the situation becomes complicated and it eventually rests on the wisdom of the court to determine if there was an invasion of privacy laws in the workplace.
Certain privacy laws are very clear. In the workplace, an employee cannot be physically harassed and private items cannot be explored. One cannot be physically touched or inspected. If such actions have to be taken then they have to comply with the accepted guidelines or the standard practices that have been laid down by the law.
The problem lies in the grey areas of the laws. When there is no distinct inference of invasion of privacy laws in the workplace, there are complexities to be dealt with. The company or a manager will always have a certain version, rather an explanation of a certain action, and the employee or the person whose privacy has been allegedly invaded or violated would have a certain version or explanation. Such arguments need to be assessed to understand if there was an invasion of privacy laws in the workplace.
Examples Of Invasion Of Privacy
If an employee is deceived in any way, such as submitting urine or blood samples for some common medical examination and then being told that it was a drug test or an HIV test, then there is invasion of privacy. An employee needs to be told why a medical examination is being conducted and what the repercussions could be. An employee can get fired for certain factors and thus the employee has the right to know and then one can decide whether or not to be subject to that exam.
There are many ways confidentialities can be violated. For instance, if a company gives your health history or personal details to another employer, marketer or to some third party which was not agreed upon by the employee in the terms of employment.
Likewise, installing video cameras in the restroom without the knowledge of the employees, having employees followed discreetly by a detective, monitoring calls or tapping office phones unless absolutely justified and any intrusion in personal life are all invasion of privacy laws in the workplace.
Keith Miller has over 25 years experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entreprenuer, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.