If you have recently started your own business and need to begin hiring employees, then you should understand that there are many laws and regulations that you need to follow when it comes to employee rights. Employee rights can be difficult to understand and thus they are also hard to always follow. You can speak with either a lawyer who specialized in business law or employment law to learn about some of these rights. The right to privacy is one thing you should understand. Keep reading to learn a little bit more about this right and also how you can follow regulations properly
Understanding Privacy Rights
When it comes to privacy, you will have a good deal of leeway when it comes to monitoring your business. This leeway allows you to monitor telephone calls, emails, voicemails, and website traffic. In other words, you have the ability to see and hear what your employees are doing throughout the day. When it comes to emails specifically, they are actually considered the property of your business. They can be copied, read, and used as evidence if an employee acts improperly.
While emails are considered your property, employees do have some personal rights when it comes to telephone conversations. Specifically, any conversation that is seen as personal is a private one that should not be monitored in any way. This is also true of personal voice messages.
Drug tests also must be completed in a way that retains employee privacy. In particular, testing can only be completed in certain situations. If the employee has a dangerous job, if physical evidence indicates that drugs may have been used, and if there is a history of drug use, then testing can be completed. Random drug tests may be allowed, but this depends on that state you live in. Make sure to check with your business attorney about this.
How Can You Comply With Privacy Rights
There are a number of situations outside communications and drug tests that may arise that involve privacy. The best way to protect yourself and also to make sure your employees feel safe, is to work with an attorney to draft specific policies when it comes to things like communication and drug testing. The policies should be drafted in writing and placed in each employee contract. Contracts should be signed.
Outside of these things, you may need to work with your attorney to develop searching policies. Searches may be needed in cases of property or intellectual theft. In general, desks and work spaces can be searched and so can employee bags and employees themselves. The searches must be considered reasonable though. You probably cannot search vehicles though. Your lawyer can help you to understand regulations and laws for each situation that arises.