Who’s Tracking You? Your Boss, Of Course

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Posted 2 years ago

HR

Court Rules: Bulk Collection Of Phone Records Is IllegalThere’s an alarming trend occurring in the workplace that is aided by technology and operates without any clearly defined boundaries. What would that be?

The rise of employee tracking by their bosses.

A recent lawsuit by a woman who claimed she was fired by her boss because she deleted an app that tracked her movements via GPS has added more fuel to an already fiery discussion over the ethics of such practices.

The truth is, more and more bosses are relying on them to bolster productivity and keep tabs especially with employees that have to work on the road a great deal for their own safety.

Estimates have seen a 17 percent jump in the usage of GPS-tracking applications for those reasons in the past three years.

It seems like it may be illegal, but the legal system has given companies leeway to use the apps along with checking employees’ emails for work-related reasons.

But the line gets blurred once these same employees leave the office – another twist to that is that there’s quite a few workers that are in the position of having their personal phone double as their work phone.

“The use of smartphones has eroded the barrier between work and home in a way nobody could have anticipated,” says Lauren Teukolsky, a California labor issues lawyer. “It means the employer can intrude into your home life more—it’s important for courts to protect the boundaries.”

Ultimately, it boils down to the idea of what personal freedoms and privacy that employees are entitled to in this digital age and how future court cases will determine them.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

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