'Privacy in the workplace' : striking a balance between the privacy concerns of employees and the operational requirements of employers.
Kondiah, Sarisha Shanel.
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The value underlying privacy lies in the fact that it mirrors the very idea of human dignity and the protection of the personal realm. However operational requirements of employers and advancements in science and technology continuously challenge the notion of privacy in the workplace. Employees all over the world are victims of a number of privacy invasive measures including, but not limited to drug testing, background checks, HIV/AIDS testing and polygraph testing. Present day advancements in technology and science make the recognition and protection of the right to privacy even more urgent. The concept of privacy in the workplace has grown in importance as technology has enabled sophisticated forms of testing and monitoring of employees. As a result of these advancements a deep tension has arisen between two conflicting sets of principles. Consequently the rationale for this study is to strike a balance between the employee’s right to privacy and the employers right to conduct his or her business as he or she deems fit. This will be done through an analysis of a number of practices adopted by the employer in the workplace of which contribute to the infringement. Further the admissibility of such evidence procured by the employer through these practices will be interrogated. This is a significant issue as scientific and technological advancements have a very tangible impact on the wellbeing of employees.