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With technology such as GPS gadgets and fitness trackers, it is simpler than ever for businesses to monitor their workers’ whereabouts, productivity, and even heart rate. Employers may profit from these new technology in many ways, including the ability to manage corporate equipment, develop more efficient workflow, and probe personnel accused of malfeasance. However, there are several hazards associated with electronic surveillance, ranging from poor staff morale to litigation. As technology advances, here are a few recommended practises for companies to consider:

Employees Electronically

Investigate State Laws That Apply

Because there is no federal laws authorising electronic employee monitoring, companies must rely on state law to establish what activities are permitted. Some states have enacted special laws governing employee tracking. In Illinois, for example, an employer may use GPS to track the whereabouts of a company-owned car, but an employer may not place a tracking device on an employee-owned vehicle without the employee’s approval.
Courts will resort to state law controlling privacy rights in jurisdictions where there are no legislation expressly addressing the matter. These requirements vary, but in general, courts are more tolerant of tracking when it happens on an employer-owned device or vehicle and the employee consents to the monitoring.

Tracking should be limited to business hours and business necessities.

Employee monitoring should always have a genuine business purpose, regardless of jurisdiction, and should be customised to minimise overreaching. There is a significant distinction between monitoring the whereabouts of an employee delivering a corporate delivery and tracking that same individual’s movements on the weekend.

Employers that fail to grasp the distinction between work and personal life risk finding themselves in court. A California woman sued her former employer in 2015, saying she was fired for removing a GPS monitoring programme from a company-issued smartphone that was constantly watching her whereabouts. If your organisation utilises monitoring software on cars or gadgets that workers take home with them, the best practise is to turn it off during nonworking hours.

Avoid Collecting Data On Health Or Physical Fitness

Other possible legal difficulties are raised by health and wellness devices like as fitness trackers. For example, if an employer gathers data on individual workers’ physical activity or fitness, the business may face disability discrimination charges if it seems that the firm is favouring more active employees at the cost of employees with disabilities.

Making participation in any fitness or wellness initiatives voluntary for workers is a safer bet. Companies should also avoid acquiring personally identifiable employee information by entrusting data collection to a third party, such as a health insurance provider.

Ensure that all employees are aware of the company’s policies.

Companies that use electronic monitoring should develop a written policy outlining what actions will be recorded, the business reasons for tracking, and any constraints on tracking. In addition, the organisation should ensure that all workers are aware of and understand the policy. Clear communication may go a long way toward reducing employee confusion and suspicion of technological surveillance.