Monitoring employee performance in the United States is fully legal. Employers are allowed to track employee work time and attendance. They also have the right to know what Internet resources an employee visits, to monitor his active actions and downtime. In addition, the employer can legally track what is happening on the employee’s computer screen online and know which keys the employee presses during office hours.
Despite the legitimacy of tracking employees in the workplace, laws determine the degree to which programs are used to monitor employees.
IS US Employee Tracking Legitimate?
As mentioned above, monitoring employees in the United States is completely legal. However, employee tracking should be supported by business reasons. U.S. federal law does not provide alerts to employees that they are being monitored.
Is it legal to track computers that belong to a company?
According to ECPA, if the computer is the property of the company, the employer has the right to control all the actions that employees perform on it. That is, the employer has the right to monitor the employee’s working time and his computer screen. The company can check active actions and breaks, visited Internet resources, keys pressed by it, and more. It is also worth noting that if the computer belongs to the employer, the company has the right to monitor the actions performed by the employee on this device and outside working hours.
Is it legal to keep track of computers owned by employees?
The employer has the right to monitor the actions of employees at their own computers if this is indicated in the company’s policy or through a court decision that gives the employer the ability to monitor employee computers. The fourth amendment to the US Constitution prohibits an unreasonable search of personal property, which limits the employer's right to monitor employee actions on their own devices. It is worth noting that this amendment applies only to the public sector. The private sector has the right to monitor the actions of employees during working hours without significant reasons.
Do I need to inform employees about the implementation of software to monitor their work?
Be sure to inform employees about computer monitoring during office hours in two states of the USA. In the states of Connecticut (Conn. Gen. Stat. §31-48D) and Delaware (Del. Code § 19-7-705), laws require the employer to notify their employees of the use of software to track their activities during work hours. Other state laws allow companies to control their employees without consent. It is worth noting that most states allow employers to choose the degree of employee tracking at the workplace.
Is it mandatory to include information on employee monitoring in company policies?
In the USA, company policy is a prerequisite for doing business. Employee monitoring information should also be included in company policies. The clause on tracking employee actions during working hours should:
• Contain detailed information about what will be tracked and how.
• Inform that data collection that is not related to workflows will not be carried out.
• Require written agreement from employees.
• Contain information that the company's own devices will be controlled almost completely.
• Have information about restrictions on disclosure to third parties.
So, as can be seen from the article, monitoring the activities of employees during working hours in the United States is completely legal. Moreover, in almost all states, the employer has the right not to notify employees of the use of software to track employee actions. Nevertheless, the company needs to maintain the trust of employees, which means that it is better to warn its subordinates about the introduction of special monitoring software.
The last thing I would like to add is that the software for monitoring the activities of employees during working hours is a very effective method of increasing the productivity of employees in the workplace. Having implemented this program in the company’s activities, the employer will be able to track all the actions of subordinates and know what time is most productive for the employee.