Nowadays, privacy in the workplace has become a prominent concern for many organizations. The issue of privacy has become a subject of concern as a result of an increased rate of employees monitoring in the workplace. The high rate of electronic monitoring of employees has caused a conflict between the rights of employers to safe guard their business, versus employees’ privacy.
The legal rights of employees as well as rights of the employers’ varies from one state to another which affects the strategies that firms adopt in enforcing the monitoring rights. Nonetheless, most federal and state laws support employees monitoring which has made many firms to adopt employee monitoring systems.
Employees monitoring is very controversy as it goes beyond legal rights to encompass moral obligations of employers and employees which are difficult to differentiate (Hartman & DesJardins, 2011).
Employers versus Employees Rights
Employees monitoring in United States of America was legalized as early as in 1986 with the enacting of Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The act allows employers and system administrators to monitor activities in their computer systems. The enacting of ECPA allowed employers to have legal rights to monitor employee’s activities in the workplace.
Generally, an employer is mainly the owner of workstations, phones, servers, software and communication devices that employees use. The employer provides these devices in order to facilitate business operations. Therefore, an employer has an interest to monitor activities on these systems for liability and security reasons.
An employer can opt to monitor employees’ telephone conversations, emails as well as non-personal telephone calls made on business phones without giving prior notice to employees, unless in the State of California where employees’ monitoring is highly regulated by the government.
Whereas the enacting of ECPA protects employers from insecurity and liability associated with illegal use of employers electronic systems such as pirating, fraud or sale of company trade secretes. The act also provides protection for employees’ privacy. The act does not allow monitoring of employees’ personal communications that are made over the company systems.
In addition, the act does not allow employers to monitor conversations of their employees that are made though the employees’ cell phones. Thus, the act is very effective as it tries to safe guide employers’ rights as well as the rights of employees in ensuring that employees’ personal affairs are not interfered with (Hartman & DesJardins, 2011)
How Does Technology used at Daimler Affect Employees Privacy
Daimler corporate has a very efficient and effective technology that ensures privacy of its employees who use its systems. The company has installed its servers, as well as users’ workstations with appropriate password and other security measures to safeguard information that is received or transmitted over its systems from unauthorized external access.
To enhance the protection of employees’ privacy, its systems encrypt personal data that is transmitted over public networks. Private and application-related access protection has been installed in order to safe guard personal data in Daimler corporate database.
These protection measures have been adopted by the organization as its strategy to ensure safe data management, which controls responsibilities and authorization to safe guard the privacy of employees.
How Daimler Protect Employees Personal Information
At Daimler Corporation, it is only its authorized personnel that are allowed to collect process or use personal data. Authorized personnel monitor emails, voice mails and telephone conversations that are transmitted over the company’s systems, for those employees it suspects to wrongly use the company’s systems.
However, the company does not allow its system administrators to use employees’ personal data for private purposes, transmission of such data to unauthorized people, or making available of such data to unauthorized persons.
Financial performance of an organization is considered as a significant part of an entity as it is responsible for determining how other departments and processes within the organization are run. In U.S., Organizations are required to abide by the General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) that were enforced in 2002 through the enacting of Sarbanes- Oxley Act (SOX).
The act requires companies to report specific data in their financial annual reports. In being compliant in honoring SOX act, Daimler Company has been consistent in disclosing its internal controls, audit committee structures as well as codes of ethics and conduct. In order for Daimler to be SOX compliant, its CEOs and CFOs sign an attestation that make them liable for any financial data reported.
Signing of this document verifies that its officers have reviewed all financial data reported and verified that it is correct. Signing of this document makes the officers to be responsible for any internal controls that have occurred. This requirement is contained in section 302 of the act (Taylor, 2012).
On the othe4 hand, section 204 of the act requires organizations to monitor how overall financial processes are run. This entails how organizations’ information systems are run and secured. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is the body that helps external auditors decipher if an organization they are auditing is SOX compliant.
Those companies that have reported false data are penalized and declared as incompliant. Thus, that is why it is imperative for employers to electronically monitor employees’ activities to avoid any liability or insecurities as a result of their employees’ misconduct.
Conflict of Interests
Many organizations are concerned about conflicts of interests for their corporate board members and executives. Board members should concentrate on the concerns of their companies and not on outside interests. Therefore, board members should not let their personal interests surpass the decisions they make as directors (Murray, 2012).
The Federal law requires clear disclosure about compensations of CEOs, CFOs as well as three other high ranking officers. The company should disclose amount and type of compensation given to CEO, CFO as well as three other most highly paid officers.
In addition, the company should disclose the criteria it uses to come up with executive compensations as well as the degree of relationship that exist between executive compensation practices versus corporate performance (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2012).
Legal and Ethical Responsibilities of Board Members
Board members in Daimler Company are required to abide in honoring the duty of care that requires them to discharge their duties in good faith and in a manner that they believe to be of maximum benefit to the company. They are also required in honoring the duty of royalty.
Board members should avoid using their positions or the assets of the company in a manner that will result to their monetary benefits or monetary gains of their family members. Lastly, the board members should honor duty of obedience.
Board members ought to make sure that they follow the company’s governing documents while exercising their powers and duties. They should ensure that the company’s assets are used lawfully. They should also make sure that they comply with the states laws that dictate how business should be run (Levy, 2012).
Areas of Compliance and Improvements
Daimler Company is compliant in accounting practices according to SOX, executive compensations, Legal and Ethical responsibilities of board members, but the company will require enforcing its management of conflict of interests by adopting a conflict of interest policy and make every director to sign and abide by it.
Employers should ensure that they monitor electronic activities of employees in order to protect themselves from any liability and security problems associated with illegal use of electronic systems. The employers should ensure that they have a policy that regulates employees monitoring process that all employers are aware of before, even before being hired.
The employers should avoid intruding in private matters of their employees, but limit their monitoring to work related issues. Daimler has a very effective internal and external control that effectively manages the various stakeholders who are involved in its business transactions. However, the company requires adopting a conflict of interest policy.
Hartman, L. & DesJardins, J. (2011). Business Ethics: Decision Making for Personal Integrity and Social Responsibility (2nd ed.). New York :McGraw-Hill.
Levy, J. (2012). Ethical and Legal Responsibilities of Board Members. Retrieved 2 June, 2012 from http://www.executiveeducationinc.com/elr.shtml
Murray, J. (2012). What Should a Conflict of Interest Policy for My Corporate Include? Retrieved 2 June, 2012 from http://biztaxlaw.about. com/od/boardofdirecto rs/f/board conflictpolicy.htm
Taylor, C. (2012).SOX Compliance- Regulatiting Accounting Standards. Retrived 2 June, 2012 from http://ezinearticles.com/?SOX-Complaince-Regulating-Accounting- Standards &id=704689
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (2012).Executive Compensations. Retrieved 2 June, 2012 from http://www.sec.gov/answers/execomp.htm