Ask a GoForth Expert
- How much can I monitor my employee's work at our offices?
Claudius du PlooyBusiness Law
Like it or not, employee workplace privacy laws - to the extent they exist at all - are there to protect the autonomy and dignity of the employee. We spend most of our adult lives at work and technology alters the old balance. Employers have a right to monitor our e-mail, website visits, computer files, telephone conversations and other communications made by using company property. Understandably, employers have a vested interest in making sure that their sensitive information is not flying out the door and that their employees are being productive during the hours that the employer is paying them. Also, if an employer provides notice of the kinds of surveillance that will be used, employees are having a harder and harder time claiming some kind of right to privacy. However, depending on your province, there's an outside possibility that your situation could fall within a gray area (where an employer might have violated employee privacy rights) if the employer permits employees to make personal calls at work and you are doing so using your own telephone (cell phone). Canadian privacy law is governed federally by multiple acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Privacy Act (Canada). Mostly this legislation concerns privacy infringement by government organizations. Data privacy was first addressed with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and provincial-level legislation also exists to account for more specific cases personal privacy protection against commercial organizations
About Claudius du Plooy
Claudius du Plooy, BComm, LLB, LLM is Founder of Claudius du Plooy Law Firm, a practice focussed on business law (corporate commercial law), securities law, commercial real estate development, entertainment law and international trade law. Claudius is passionate about SMEs.