Many of the basic rights we take for granted are not protected when we go to work. The ACLU continues to fight for employee privacy by challenging how those rights are violated by employers through workplace surveillance, unwarranted drug testing, and “lifestyle discrimination.”
Employers have a legitimate interest in monitoring work to ensure efficiency and productivity. But employee surveillance often goes well beyond legitimate management concerns and becomes simple spying in furtherance of no legitimate business interest. Electronic monitoring of employees is an area where we have seen the emergence of especially intrusive and unprecedented levels of workplace surveillance.
Any monitoring of employees should be narrowly tailored in time, place, and manner, and it should be transparent to employees (unless the employer is conducting an investigation based on substantial evidence of misconduct). Even permitted intrusions should not be used in a way that creates an atmosphere of pervasive surveillance or intimidation.