Law Offices of Louis Spitters
408-780-1920

Employment contracts and the issue of surveillance

Many employers in California make it a point to let their employees know they will be tracking them. They can do this in several ways, all of which are legal. The details of how they do this is often included in employment contracts in order to document that employees have been adequately warned. When an employer goes beyond agreed-upon surveillance methods or uses any information gained by tracking employees to discriminate in any way, employees or former employees may utilize legal means to hold the responsible party accountable for these actions and seek compensation for any resulting losses.

According to a recently published article, over half of all large companies in the United States use monitoring software to track their employees. They can look at emails, review keystrokes, look at social media accounts, access information retrieved through health and wellness programs, and track GPS on company phones -- among other things. Most people have accepted that their employers are keeping an eye on them, and most are okay with it.

If an employer uses monitoring software of any kind, employees can take steps to protect themselves and any private information. They can do this by not using their own devices on their employer's network, making it a point to only do work-related things on work computers and phones, and review employment contracts and employee handbooks to make sure they are up-to-date on their employer's current surveillance methods. The bottom line is keep work and personal life separate. 

Those who work in California do have certain rights to privacy in the workplace and the right to not be discriminated against because of information obtained through employer-conducted surveillance. Those who believe that their employers have violated tracking methods approved of in employment contracts or who think they are the victims of discrimination as a result of employee monitoring may have legal recourse. An experienced employment law attorney can review one's complaint and help one take any actions deemed appropriate.

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Law Offices of Louis Spitters
96 North 3rd Street
Suite 500
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Phone: 408-780-1920
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