Wednesday, December 14, 2016

HR Can Put Employees at Risk

I've written about problems with Human Resources departments several times - especially the sometimes unfair relationship between human resources and employees.  As you might expect, The Sliding Door Company's human resources department certainly is not without serious problems.  Clearly, this blog wouldn't be here if I didn't feel my rights were violated.  So, let's have a look at one huge failure that, in this case, directly impacted several people.

When I wrote about TSDC spying on their employees both articles I linked to state plainly 
"the employer needs consent from its workers to monitor their behavior in the workplace." 
That means the employee has to sign something giving consent to be spied on.  Lacking a document showing consent, spying on an employee would be illegal.  

TSDC's terms of spying are laid out in their Employee Handbook.  And sure enough, TSDC's human resources department has a document that employees must sign to acknowledge receipt of the Employee Handbook.  Again, lacking a signed document from an employee stating they have received the notice of the company's policy on spying, the company is NOT allowed to spy on the employee.  From the law:

California's Privacy Act is in the Penal Code. [54] Under section 631, the anti-wiretapping law, anyone who
. . . willfully and without the consent of all parties . . . reads or attempts . . . to learn the contents or meaning of any . . . communication . . . in transit . . . over any wire, line, or cable or is being sent from, or received at any place within this state . . . is punishable by . . . imprisonment . . . [55]Under section 632, the broader anti-eavesdropping/anti-recording law,
Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties . . ., by means of any . . . recording device eavesdrops upon or records [a] confidential communication . . . [including ones] carried on . . . by means of a telegraph, telephone, or other device . . . shall be punished by . . . imprisonment . . . . [56]  

Here's the document that employees are supposed to sign that indicates they have received the Employee Handbook.

Oh dear... it appears in my case the Human Resources Manager neglected to notice I hadn't signed the document.  This means TSDC did NOT have permission to spy on me.  
And yet... they DID.

So, did The Sliding Door Company's human resources manager put other employees in jeopardy by not securing my signature on this document?  

According to California law, it could mean "imprisonment" for someone who unlawfully spies on someone else.  

There is a lot more to the California Privacy Act and associated laws... but the bottom line is...

Human Resources has a very big responsibility when it comes to paperwork and collecting all the signatures required to keep a company and the employees within that company safe.  

When Human Resources fails, companies fail.  But hey... there will always be employees to blame for the shortcomings of employers.

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