Ethical and Legal Issues In The Workplace - Employee Monitoring

Employee Monitoring is a common activity taking place in the workspace. But, there are many ethical and legal issues in the workplace when monitoring employees. In this guide, we will learn about Employee monitoring and the ethical and legal issues to consider in the workplace.

What is Employee monitoring?

Employee monitoring is the process of supervising the workplace and the employees concerning the business activities taking place in the environment. Employee Monitoring software would get in track of the employee tracking, measure employee productivity, collect evidence for any illegal activities, surveillance the workplace, and many more! This also includes collecting data based on employee attendance, calculating the active time, and calculating the employee pay as well.

There are many rules and regulations to know before installing Employee Monitoring software. Let's discuss it in the next section.

Employee monitoring laws and regulations

There are Federal and state privacy laws following the Employee Monitoring programs. There are certain states which don't make it mandatory to inform the employees that they are being monitored. But, certain states are making it compulsory as well. So, you should be aware of your state's laws in advance.

Federal workplace employee monitoring laws

Federal workplace employee monitoring allows monitoring of the verbal, written, and communication activities of employees if the employer or organization states a valid reason for employee monitoring. If the employee gives consent to monitoring, additional monitoring activities will also take place. The ECPA consent provision of an employee allows a peek into the employees' personal and business communications as well. Therefore, the employer and the employee should be aware of the consent and privacy issues.

There are various types of Employee monitoring software that give various legal implications to both the employer and employee. Therefore, both parties should be aware of it.

State workplace employee monitoring laws

Based on the state, employee monitoring rules and regulations differ from one another. So, it is always appreciated to check your state laws with your legal counsel to make sure the software you use follows the federal and state regulations.

How do monitor employees with minimum conflicts?

Video surveillance is allowed to monitor the workplace. It is not just about monitoring the employees, it also includes the monitoring of the workplace. It helps to prevent theft and forgery activities.

As an employer, you can maintain transparency with your employees. You can show them the data you collect based on their work, let them know the type of data you collect, acknowledge that they are being monitored, and much more! This would let you know what they think and what their opinions are to make the right decisions.


In conclusion, we learned in-depth about the ethical and legal issues raised by employee monitoring. Based on this, it is always better to know the federal and state laws in each area before choosing the appropriate Employee Monitoring software. Also, maintain an effective and transparent relationship with the employees to avoid facing legal and ethical issues.