Privacy: Technology, Surveillance, and Freedom.
- Discuss the employee claims that counter businesses’ justification of electronic surveillance.
Employers limit privacy at workplaces to reinforce the security of their enterprises, avoid liability, as well as ensure the availability of fundamental resources required for operations by their human resources. These employers use software programs and video cameras for surveillance. Nevertheless, many employees are opposed to surveillance since they feel that employers infringe on their privacy in the process of keeping records. Some employers intentionally set surveillance cameras in restrooms and locker rooms at the workplace, thus invading the employees’ private life, which is termed illegal by federal law. Therefore, it is no wonder that employees claim intentional emotional distress imposed by their employers through the electronic surveillance system. However, proving emotional distress in the court is normally challenging, unless the distress is severe. Another employee’s claim on an intrusion is the e-mail interception by the employer or another person who has the employer’s consent. Many employees use the work email for their personal purposes thus they are not comfortable with the emails being read by third parties. Indeed, employees who feel that their privacy has been invaded have the liberty to file lawsuits for the intrusion of privacy (National Workrights Institution). If such cases are proven, then employers face penalties.
- Name the two main factors that most courts use in determining whether or not electronic monitoring of employees is an invasion of privacy.
According to the National Work Rights Institute, the affirmative attempt by the defendant to intercept, or persuade another person to intercept electronic communication and the use or disclosure of the contents of the electronic communication while knowing or having reason to know of an illegal interception, are the main factors courts use to make a ruling on the invasion of privacy.
- Briefly describe what Alan Westin believes are the “functions of privacy.”
Privacy functions are the reasons people search for solitude. Alan Westin believes that there are four functions of privacy, including personal autonomy, emotional release, self-evaluation, and protected communication (Hacking with Care). Personal autonomy refers to a person’s independence as well as self-identification. It is the feeling that makes a person authoritative among other people. The emotional release privacy function refers to breaking free from the tensions of social life and having the ability to diverge from social norms, roles, rules, and customs safely (Hacking with Care). On the other hand, self-evaluation is an analysis to identify areas of weakness for future improvements and planning. Lastly, a limited and protected communication function refers to the chance to disclose personal information to people he or she trusts.
- Discuss Lewis Maltby’s proposition that employers should not do drug testing (or other testing related to off-work conduct) but should instead focus on impairment testing when an employee is entering the workplace.
According to Maltby, employers should not test employees for drugs since most of the staff members are not knowledgeable about drug use and abuse. Indeed, employers refer to experts in the drug industry for advice on employee drug use. However, based on business terms, experts in drug industries cannot provide convenient information concerning drug abuse on employees, given that they are in the drug supply business and may not want to lose customers. Therefore, the experts deliver information that protects their business interests. Nevertheless, employers can focus on impairment testing of employees during the hiring procedure, since the process is cost-effective and prevents privacy and equality issues (Maltby).
- Under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), it is unlawful for an employer to request, require, or purchase genetic information related to employees of their families. List at least three exceptions to this rule.
According to the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2009) the three exceptions to the GINA rule are; when the genetic information is obtained unintentionally; as part of health or genetic services, including wellness programs provided on a voluntary basis; and as part of genetic monitoring that is either required by law or provided on a voluntary basis
Hacking With Care. “Psychological Functions of privacy.”Hacking With Care.30 April 2014. https://hackingwithcare.in/2014/04/psychological-functions-of-privacy-one-academic-literature-review/. 24 Nov. 2019.
Maltby, Lewis. “Drug Testing a Bad Investment.” American Civil Liberties Union. Sept. 1999. https://www.ukcia.org/culture/drugtesting1999.pdf. 24 Nov. 2019.
National Workrights Institute. “Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace: Common Law & Federal Statutory Protection.” National Workrights Institute. 2010. https://www.workrights.org/nwi_privacy_comp_ElecMonitoringCommonLaw.html. 24 Nov.2019.
U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “Questions and Answers for Small Businesses: EEOC Final Rule on Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.”U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 23 Sept. 2009. https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/regulations/gina_qanda_smallbus.cfm. 24 Nov. 2