Is It Legal to Monitor Your Employees? – Things You Should Be Aware Of

It is essential to understand the law surrounding employee monitoring before you install it in your workplace. 

  • Employers use this technology to track their employee's real-time locations and activities.
  • Employers have the right to keep track of their employee's verbal and written communication under certain circumstances.
  • Tracking your employees is essential in making your employees feel more secure and protect your company from potential legal action.

The employee time tracking software is one way of eliminating distractions, adding technological automation, and improves productivity. Office monitoring has become prevalent in recent years, especially with the rapid growth of digital technology streamlining surveillance platforms. 

What Is Employee Monitoring?

Involves the use of various tools employers use to surveil their employee’s whereabouts and activities around workplaces. Devices like GPS systems, biometrics, time clocks, monitoring software, video surveillance, and more. Surveillance strengthens your business’s security and productivity. The main goal for employee tracking is to ensure company resources are being used appropriately, providing evidence for any potential litigation. Other uses include examining employee productivity and preventing an internal threat.

Employers also determine their employee’s productivity levels by studying the records of when they start and end their day. Supervisors should understand and establish their monitoring limits by turning out federal and state laws and governing this activity.

Laws and Regulations Surrounding Employee Monitoring

  • Federal and state privacy provide discretions to employers to show them how much they can go with their monitoring programs. Employees should have little expectations of privacy while in their workplaces or when using the company’s equipment. The law allows employers to monitor their employee’s verbal and written communication as long as they can present a legitimate reason to do so. The employee has given his consent. 
  • Video surveillance is restricted in common areas and entrances, but in bathrooms or locker rooms is strictly prohibited, which might open the risks of legal repercussions. 
  • HR-related issues or discipline meetings recorded can be turned over to court if litigation arises. 

Employee monitoring does not need to be disclosed explicitly to employees, but visible signage indicating video surveillance is enough to cover legal or unethical grounds. Some employees might result in transparency to make the employees feel comfortable by explaining to them what you hope to accomplish and how monitoring aligns with the organization’s goals. Business owners have every right to know where their vehicle is, even when the employee is off the clock. Employers should think through legitimate business interests and weigh them against the monitoring expectation, considering regulatory limitations.

Normally the employee time tracking software is used to measure the following metrics in real-time
  • Employees attendance
  • Login and logout
  • User login name
  • Computer name
  • Active and idle times
  • Websites, URLs
  • Social network use 
  • Software and document use
  • Productive and unproductive times

Employees risk acquiring too much information like personal data from their employees and might have massive trouble disclosing private information to anyone. The burden of protecting the data falls on you, even those that come from browsing histories, sensitive data; the company is vulnerable to lawsuits by their employees.

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