March 12, 2020
If you are issued a company-owned device in order to do your job (like a desktop, laptop, or smartphone), then anything and everything you do on that device can be monitored by your employer. The idea here is that employers need to protect their employees and their business information from spam ware and malware, in addition to ensuring that their workers are being efficient and conscientious during work time. However, this does not mean that California employers have carte blanche to dig into your life or your personal information as an employee.
It is best practice for California employers to notify employees that monitoring may occur, and they may not monitor you unless there is a legitimate business purpose behind the monitoring. Also, recording can never happen without consent. It is generally understood that an employer is not authorized to monitor your personal email account, even if it was checked from a work computer, but the legality of authorization is murky at best.
Ultimately, the best way to protect yourself and your personal information is to strictly conduct business on your business computer. The laws surrounding employee monitoring are not as clear as they should be, and it is entirely possible that an employer accessing your personal information will have good standing in court. In order to ensure that your personal information is never seen by prying eyes, take care to only access your personal email from personal devices. Keep your medical records and information in private storage, and only conduct business on company-issued devices. It may seem extreme, but given the fact that California law does allow for employee monitoring, it is the best way to handle privacy if that is a major concern of yours.
If you believe that your rights as an employee have been violated, then call us today for help and support. We can help you to understand employee monitoring laws, and can advise you on your best course of action given your unique situation. Don’t wait, call today.