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Employee Privacy Policies
Employers are increasingly “googling” prospective employees as an inexpensive preliminary background check. And, the employer is not required to tell you that the search contributed to disqualification or qualification for the job. There is not an American federal law requiring employers to tell employees that email, electronic communications or internet activities are being monitored. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcra.pdfdoes not apply because this American law only covers background checks performed by third parties. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has more information about this at http://www.privacyrights.org/ar/wcr.htm.
Blogs usually are included in internet searches. They are good marketing tools. When used correctly and creatively they can enhance the reputation, uniqueness and demand of a product, service or prospective employee. Be careful about information you post related to your employment such as: criticism about the company, employer, manager, co-workers; and posting embarrassing, sensitive or confidential information. Typically in the United States you can be fired for anything except age, race, or sexual orientation. As of January 2008 only five USA states have laws related to limiting when an employer can fire an employee because of something the employee did that was not related to the employment and was outside of employment hours:
- California http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/ab_14_bill_20070919_enrolled.html
- Colorado http://www2.michie.com/colorado/lpext.dll?f=FifLink&t=document-frame.htm&l=query&iid=1da268e1.69200c34.0.0&q=%5BGroup%20%27t.%208,%20art.%203%27%5D
- Montana http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/mca/39/2/39-2-313.htm
- New York http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS (then click on ‘labor’)