Employee Handbook Privacy Section Essay

2220 words - 9 pages

According to Connelly, Roberts, and McGivney, LLC (1998), "in today's workplace computers and electronic communications are the norm rather than the exception" (p. 1). With technology, rapidly advancing electronic communication is becoming essential. This creates a challenge for organizations on how and what to monitor when it comes to its employees. This paper will address the issue of privacy in the global workplace and give suggestions on what privacy rights issues should be addressed, as well as what the company's position should be in response to its privacy rights. Lastly, it will define how organizations privacy protections may limit the company's liability and how privacy protections ...view middle of the document...

Before an employer can get a consumer report for employment purposes, they must notify you in writing and get your written authorization" (p. 1). Even if an employer is just running a basic check for inquiry purposes they must still get permission from the employee.The purpose of the background check is to ensure that information that was provided from the applicant is truthful, and some organizations require certain security clearances, or the individual may be applying for a position that works closely with children. The employer still needs to have permission from the applicant in order to run these background checks.Lastly, the employer needs to protect the privacy of employee personal information. According to Brian Koerner (nd), "twenty five percent of all identity thieves are known by the victim - whether it be a friend, relative, or co-worker" (p. 1). Employers need to take steps to keep personal information such as social security numbers, home addresses, and phone numbers safe. This information if obtained by the wrong person could lead to identity theft.Employers need to ensure that the appropriate steps are taken to keep employee information confidential. This can be done by utilizing an employee number rather than the employee's social security number, make sure that personal information is not posted where it is easily accessible, only allowing acceptable personnel to handle confidential information, and dispose of information and documentation appropriately (about.com).Limiting LiabilityIt is important that companies understand the different potential corporate and personal liability when preparing, planning, implementing or maintaining an employee privacy handbook section. Companies must remain aware of potential issues that may need to be addressed in order to remain proactive and avoid liability pitfalls.There are many areas of potential liability an organization that includes negligence, liability under the privacy act, loss, or misuse of personal records, and criminal liability. In order to provide an organization with the most liability protection, they must be aware of what these liabilities are.Negligence is the failure to provide reasonable care, which result in damages to another person or company. If a company or organization does not take reasonable care to provide adequate protection for their employees or customers' information and the employee or customer suffers damages, the organization may be legally responsible for the amount of loss suffered. In order to avoid negligence, organizations must be proactive and provide adequate security.The Privacy Act was created to ensure that companies are obligated to provide protection in ways that they retain, collect, use, and disclose personal information (Bushkin, p. 1). Companies covered by the Privacy Act are required to protect private and personal information they hold. Companies must avoid misuse and loss as well as unauthorized access. Whether it is physical...

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