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Comments about ‘New Utah Internet Employment Privacy Act could impact workplace, hiring’

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Published: Sunday, May 12 2013 6:07 p.m. MDT

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My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

The federal privacy act of individuals is all an employee needs to quote an employer if they demand or threaten them with their jobs and being fired. It is a against the law for employers to ask for such information. This law just reinforces the right to privacy.

As for employer supplied phones and communication devices the law already makes all information on them the property of the employer, most employees seem to think a phone use on company time is private information but they are wrong. If employers did not pursue this channel to track and monitor the use of their equipment is there own fault but their right. When an employee is on the job and clock time of employer they have no privacy without the consent of an employer. Emergency calls on company time are also the property of the employer.

Family calls on private phones and lines on company time is fraud and employees can be required to pay back labor time cost used for private or personal use.

Any employee with integrity or character will respect and honor their contract with their employers for full work for full pay without question.

Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT

@My2Cents: "When an employee is on the job and clock time of employer they have no privacy without the consent of an employer"

Not quite correct. If you think an employee sacrifices all right to privacy while working, try putting a video cam in the rest room or going through an employee's purse and see where it leads you. A workplace isn't a benevolent dicatorship where the workers have no more rights than a slave.

I'm not sure why any employer would think they have the right to demand passwords to their employee's web sites, email, or social media sites, any more than they could demand copies of the employee's house and car keys or the right to go through the employee's home mail box. The boss is the employer, not the parole officer or parent of the employee.

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

my 2 cents; Well said.

cjf
Salt Lake City, UT

Eliyahu; well said.

mamiejane
Salt Lake City, UT

@My2Cents: please don't quote the law when you aren't an expert. Your comment about making personal phone calls on work time isn't supported by any law on the books and I don't think I have ever seen a case where an employee has been required to reimburse an employer for limited and non-competing personal activities on work time. To the extent there are legal restrictions on the use of company time for personal activities, those restrictions are generally the result of company policy or state law. The federal employee privacy act only applies to employees of the federal government. The federal privacy protections available to employees of private companies are limited and are also dependent on the state and the employer.

I think the new Utah law is a great thing though and hope to see more activity by the legislature to acknowledge that employees are entitled to private space and time when they are not at work.

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