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Employee Privacy Policy

Author: Lisa Pierson Weinberger, Mom, Esq.

When to Use

Most employers engage in some form of monitoring of employee activities at work or when utilizing employer-provided equipment and devices. While there can be compelling reasons to do so, employers must be mindful of federal, state and local laws that limit an employer's ability to monitor all employee activities and communications, particularly without providing adequate notice.

The most effective privacy policies are those that are specifically tailored to an employer's actual needs. Accordingly, employers are advised to consider whether and to what extent they have a legitimate business interest in keeping tabs on employees. In designing a policy that would be appropriate for its particular organization, employers should consider how the surveillance of employees and the inspection of property could help to maintain a productive workplace, monitor quality control, prevent discrimination and harassment, protect relationships with clients and customers, maintain the security of trade secrets and confidential and proprietary information, and protect against employee theft and misconduct.

Once those goals have been determined and an appropriate privacy policy has been implemented, employers should manage employee expectations by notifying them of the workplace activities and electronic communications that will be monitored. An employee privacy policy should be communicated to employees at the commencement of employment, and as needed to update employees as any modifications to the policy are made. Employers should make sure that employees sign and acknowledge that they have received and understand the policy.

Customizable Policy