HR420-01: Employment Law
Unit 9 Final Project
José M. Torres
Professor Arthur Dunklin
April 27, 2010
The Employment Relationship
“Q” Inc. has a dilemma with employee Jill Malibu. Although she has a satisfactory work performance, she spends approximately 90 minutes of work time in the telephone attending her boyfriend Jack. This representsalmost the 18% of the workable hours per day. The dilemma comes from the potential invasion of privacy that Jill could claim from the company. How should “Q” respond?
“Q” is responsible to monitor the use of company’s resources to assure there are used properly. In terms of telephone use, the employer could monitor conversation related to the business for quality control purposes(Jude, 2008). As a matter of fact, there are states like California that requires that employees and customers should be informed that is recorded or monitored by either putting a beep tone on the line or playing a recorded message (privacyrights.org, 2010). However, if the conversations are personal, employees are protected by Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968(also known as the Federal Wiretap Act). This act prohibits employers to listen the content of private telephone conversations or from disclosing the content of those conversations.
The employer, in this case “Q”, could prohibit the use of company telephones for personal calls and monitor conversation partially for violations. Jill is responsible to use properly company’s time and resources,avoiding abuse and incorrect use of them (privacyrights.org, 2010). “Q” should concentrate the surveillance of the call under the fact that she is spending close to 20% of the time at the phone, what is not an effective use of her time. She can claim that she is performing as expected. But “Q” should have policies and ethical guidance to support future actions toward this kind of behavior.
Thereis another consideration in this case. If Jill use the telephone as the principal working tool (customer calls), this 20% should be considered an interruption to her duties, what give “Q” the right to intervene with the calls. The company should suggest Jill that the more safe way to ensure that her personal calls should keep private is making the calls with her own mobile phone or pay phone, orprovide a designated phone for employees’ personal calls (privacyrights.org, 2010).
Companies should orient their employees with the correct use of company’s resources, in this case company’s telephone. They should develop policies and train the personnel in what the law protects and what is not protected in terms of personal calls monitored by the employer. The conversation ororientation should be around the effectiveness in working time use, and how much work could be performed if that 20% of the time is used appropriately. Once employees are trained and documented in the orientation, the employer is less liable, assuring no rights are violated.
Termination is possibly one of the more liable acts an employer could face. In this case,Thomas Walker was terminated by the employer Elliptical Electronics Company, after he assaulted a coworker without provocation. The discharge was under an at-will policy that state employment is at will and can be terminated at anytime for any reason with r without cause (Jude, 2008). The argument present by Thomas was that he was terminated in violation of the company’s policy because theemployer did not provide a hearing to defend him. The dilemma is if Elliptical act correctly and what advice they could receive.
Employment at will bring the employer the right to revoke the employee’s authority and terminate her or him at will (Jude, 2008). However, at will means that both employer and employee can terminate the business relation upon proper notice, considering a proper...
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