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Workplace Surveillance takes precedence for checking on productivity, is it ethically right?

Karma Global’s Alliance with A Leading Law Firm in India, Has Established Excellent Reputation for Its Integrity and Pragmatic Approach in Effectively Navigating Legal Entanglements Bothering Its Clientele!

Karma Global, besides its foray into specialized areas like staffing, on-boarding, payroll, curbing regulatory risk, auditing and abiding by all labour law related compliance, has joined hands with topmost Indian legal firm in order to further strengthen its enduring relationships with its over 500+ clients with cost effective and time bound solutions.


Workplace Surveillance takes precedence for checking on productivity, is it ethically right? 

In the first weeks of the pandemic , as many as half of U.S. workers who remained employed were suddenly working from home. Managers scrambled to monitor their suddenly remote workers through constant check-ins, always-on webcams, and software that tracks keystrokes or mouse movement.  

Workplace surveillance is not new, of course, but new technologies have made it possible for employers to monitor workers both in and out of the workplace and can harm workers in myriad ways. Some of the threats posed by increasingly sophisticated workplace surveillance are a direct result of the pervasive monitoring itself, but others are a result of the exploitative and often illegal practices that such surveillance enables, from health and safety harms to discrimination.


Workplace surveillance enables worker exploitation

In addition to general privacy intrusions upon workers, workplace surveillance enables and encourages exploitative management practices that harm workers and worsen job quality—often but not always through algorithmic management.


Workplace surveillance undermines worker power by changing the structure of jobs and work

Invasive and exploitative workplace surveillance has grown largely unchecked due to a lack of legal protections or regulatory restrictions on these behaviours. The ubiquity of technologically enabled workplace monitoring and lack of privacy protections continues a harmful cycle:


Does legal right exist?

Workers classified as employees have more legal protections than independent contractors or gig workers, but still have little power to stand up to employers. Only 12.1 percent of U.S. workers—and just 7.2 percent of private-sector workers—were represented by a union in 2020, according to the Economic Policy Institute. But even unionized workers do not have a defined legal right to bargain over surveillance or other technologies.


State Laws

There are a handful of states that have already made strides in enacting privacy legislation concerning employee tracking. For example, New Jersey’s Assembly Bill 3950 went into effect on April 16, 2022. This law requires employers to provide notice to employees for certain types of geotracking. New York’s Notice of Electronic Monitoring went into effect May 7, 2022, which requires employers that “monitor or otherwise intercept” their employees’ telephone calls, e-mail, or internet access or usage to: (1) provide written notice to employees who are subject to the monitoring and obtain their written acknowledgement of the notice; and (2) post the notice in a conspicuous place that is readily accessible to employee’s subject to electronic monitoring.


Proprietary blog of Karma Global

Collated and Compiled by the internal staff of Karma Global with the knowledge and expertise that they possess,  besides adaptation, illustration, derivation, transformation, collection and auto generation for its monthly newsletter Issue 16  of  October  2023 and in case of specific or general information or compliance updates for that matter, kindly reach out to the Marketing Team – /


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