Author: Jason Habinsky, Haynes & Boone

When to Use This Policy

Employers may generally monitor employee workplace activity or activities that employees engage in while using equipment or devices owned by the employer. Employers should decide the goals to achieve by monitoring employees and then develop a policy that promotes those goals. Federal and state laws protect the privacy rights of employees and employers should ensure that a communication and information systems policy complies with those laws. A written and published policy is best practice in order to manage employee expectations of privacy. It may also be necessary for the employer to have a written and published policy for defending against potential lawsuits or for evidence in disciplinary proceedings.

The policy should be communicated to employees at the commencement of employment and the employer should make sure that employees sign and acknowledge that they have received and understand the policy. The policy should be referred to whenever there is a question regarding what employees should and should not be allowed to do with the employer's communication and information systems.

Below is a model policy that should be further tailored to fit the employer's specific needs