Friday, March 09, 2007
News reports thata Wal-Mart employee taped telephone conversations between a New York Times reporter and other Wal-Mart employees brings to light the practice of corporations who require employees to consent to company surveillance of calls made through company systems and equipment.
Wal-Mart officials have said the employee in the recently reported case was not authorized to make the recordings and adds that company policy restricts monitoring of employee communications to instances in which fraud or criminal activity is suspected, according to a Vanderbilt University statement.
However, that policy is not a requirement. "We know from recent surveys by groups such as the American Management Association and others that many firms do routinely monitor employee communications that employees might think are private, without cause of suspicion," says Bruce Barry, professor of management and sociology. "This means workers, especially in the private sector, work under the threat that their expressive activity is being watched, which has the effect of chilling free expression that might have nothing to do with the corporation, or that might involve whistleblowing regarding corporate misbehavior."
Barry has focused recent research on free expression in and around the workplace from legal, managerial, and ethical perspectives. He is the author of a soon-to-be-published book on the subject, Speechless: The Erosion of Free Expression in the American Workplace.
Bookmark http://universeeverything.blogspot.com/ and drop back in sometime.