On-Line Rights For Employees In The Information Society, Use & Monitoring Of E-Mail & Internet At Work

Overview

A number of practices in today's 'wired' workplace threaten several fundamental rights. More and more, employees are expected to curtail their right to communicate and their right to access to information. Their right to privacy may also be breached by monitoring of their e-mail and Internet activity.

Although employers have legitimate reasons for such restrictive or invasive measures and clearly have their own right to supervise the use of company property it can no longer be ...

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Overview

A number of practices in today's 'wired' workplace threaten several fundamental rights. More and more, employees are expected to curtail their right to communicate and their right to access to information. Their right to privacy may also be breached by monitoring of their e-mail and Internet activity.

Although employers have legitimate reasons for such restrictive or invasive measures and clearly have their own right to supervise the use of company property it can no longer be denied that the legal and even moral issues that arise from the new reality of work in the information society demand serious and detailed consideration if labour law's role as a vital component of the employment relationship is to survive.

In this very significant book, crucial questions arising in the context of the new world of work are explored by a distinguished gathering of academics, civil servants, trade union representatives, managers, employees and students from sixteen countries. The Conference, held in Brussels in November 2000, was co-sponsored by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, Union Network International, UNI-Europa, and the Euro-Japan Institute for Law and Business.

Participants analyzed trends and the ever-increasing possibilities and opportunities to communicate, monitoring included, in order to clarify such issues as the following:

  • 'on-line rights' and the form they should take in the workplace;
  • employer liability for damage to third parties caused by e-mail or Internet activity;
  • sexual harassment via e-mail or Internet activity;
  • protection against hackers and other security measures;
  • safeguarding confidentiality, both employer's and employee's; and
  • the right to personal use of the company's communications technology.

These and other aspects of the growing conflict between managerial prerogative and the right to privacy in the workplace are here given a fuller and more provocative treatment than is available in any other single source.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Notes on Contributors
Introductory Remarks and Some Conclusions
Introductory Remarks
Welcome
1 The Protection of Privacy at Work 1
2 Employment in a Global Knowledge Economy 9
3 Forwarding Confidential Information on the Internet: Technological Possibilities of Monitoring and Control 17
4 Monitoring and Control of Use of E-mail and the Internet by the Employee. Management's Point of View 29
5 Employment and Labour Law Aspects. Setting the Scene. Asking the Right Questions? 35
6 Privacy and Employment Law: General Principles and Application to Electronic Monitoring 45
7 Belgian Law 65
Annex: Report of the Belgian Workshop 92
8 Dutch Law 95
9 English Law 125
Annex: Report of the English Workshop 147
10 French Law 149
11 German Law 171
12 Italian Law 193
13 Italian Law 201
14 Italian Law 207
15 Japanese Law 213
16 United States Law 233
17 A 'First Principles' Examination of Electronic Privacy in the Workplace 251
18 Regulating and Monitoring Communications in the Enterprise: Guidelines for the Development of an Effective Usage Policy 269
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