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Employers Must Use Caution in Policing Workers

Employers Must Use Caution in Policing Workers' Internet Use

January 25, 2008

Online privacy laws restrict businesses' ability to monitor and regulate on-the-job web surfing, blogging and downloads.

RALEIGH, NC – Since companies first began making the Internet widely available to office computers some 20 years ago, the ways employees spend their time online, has been a potential productivity issue.  But companies who try to address the problem by strictly monitoring workers' activity may find themselves in violation of laws put in place to protect the privacy of not only Internet users, but employees who use company telephone equipment as well.  "Businesses do have the right to make sure their employees are using work time and equipment properly, and are not communicating in ways that could adversely affect the company," said Denise Cline, an attorney with Smith Moore LLP in Raleigh, whose practice includes a focus on employment law.  "But employers have to be careful to make sure that their policies and practices regarding workplace telephone, electronic and cyber communications comply with the law."

Cline and another presenter will provide pointers on how companies can monitor and regulate online and telephone communication during a webinar entitled, "E-Privacy: How to Legally Monitor Employee Communications," scheduled for 2 pm Wednesday, January 30th.  Office managers, IT professionals, human resources specialists and other business people responsible for managing web use in the workplace can register for the webinar at  The webinar is Hosted by the Center for Competitive Management.

Contact: Steve Powell
For Smith Moore LLP


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