While just 7% of respondent companies monitored employee behavior outside the workplace, nearly two-thirds (63%) felt that doing so was a violation of employee privacy if not specifically targeted at illegal activities, according to the SHRM/West Group 2000 Workplace Privacy Survey.
Seventy percent of survey respondents favored protection of medical information about individual employees, as did 64% when it came to employee credit checks. An overwhelming 95% felt that way about the results of genetic testing.
However, less than a third (28%) expressed reservations about employee drug testing.
Less than a quarter (24%) had reservations about monitoring email usage, while only 15% thought checking Internet usage on the job was a violation of employee privacy. A somewhat larger 37% felt that phone call monitoring was intrusive.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) currently monitor Internet usage, concerned about lost productivity and inappropriate behavior.
Four percent had administered polygraphs or lie detection/voice stress analysis tests, while 61% checked employees’ criminal records and 22% conducted personality testing.
Companies are moving to tighten up the rules, with 72%
now having a written policy in place regarding Internet
use, 70% had one on email monitoring and a similar number
on conducting employee drug tests.