Network - Winter 2010 - (Page 18)

Monitoring Online Behaviour of Employees Privacy in the workplace is something that many employees take for granted. Employees often assume that they have a right to unfettered privacy in the workplace, including with respect to their online activities, and that their employer cannot monitor their online activities. However, while it is true that employers have an obligation to keep the confidential information of their employees confidential, employees do not have the right to unfettered privacy with respect to their online activities. In fact, as a recent decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal demonstrates, not only do employees not have the right to unfettered privacy with respect to their online activities, employers actually have an obligation to monitor the online activities of employees to a certain extent. In Poliquin v. Devon Energy Corp.1, the employer terminated an employee for just cause, for accepting free services personally from a supplier. Prior to terminating the employee, a random computer search by the employer had uncovered inappropriate images on the employee’s computer. The employee had received inappropriate e-mails without complaint or asking that they stop. The employee was formally reprimanded in writing by the employer and warned that the behaviour was to stop immediately. The employee admitted to the inappropriate conduct and indicated it would stop. After the employee was terminated for accepting the free services from a supplier, another search of the employee’s computer was conducted. This search revealed that the inappropriate use of the computer by the employee had not ceased after the written warning. The employer found more images, as well as evidence that two of the images were forwarded internally and NETWORK Winter 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Winter 2010

Network - Winter 2010
HRIA President’s Message
HRIA’s 2010 Board of Directors
Celebrating Excellence Awards
Recognizing Excellence in HR
Misconduct in the Blogosphere
Social Networking: What is Private and What is Professional?
Monitoring Online Behaviour of Employees
Private Property
Privacy Legislation Impacts Talent-Management Programs, Too!
Breaching Privacy More Than a Legal Concern
Drug and Alcohol Testing: A Divided Nation?
Personal Information Protection Act
Index of Advertisers

Network - Winter 2010