Starting a Business

Are there limits as to how much an employer can monitor your activity at work?

Is it legal for my employer to place a hearing device at my work station and listen to my conversations? We're allowed to use cell phones while at work.
min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Like it or not, employee workplace privacy laws--to the extent they exist at all--are very weak.

Employers do have a right to monitor your e-mail, website visits, computer files, telephone conversations and other communications made by using company property.

Understandably, employers have a vested interest in making sure that their sensitive information is not flying out the door and that their employees are being productive during the hours that the employer is paying them. Also, if an employer provides notice of the kinds of surveillance that will be used, employees are having a harder and harder time claiming some kind of right to privacy (although legislation preventing video surveillance of changing rooms is starting to gain traction).

However, depending on your state, there's an outside possibility that your situation could fall within a gray area (where an employer might have violated employee privacy rights) if the employer permits employees to make personal calls at work and you are doing so using your own telephone (cellphone).

Since state employee workplace privacy laws vary, make sure to consult with a local attorney who knows your area.

More from Entrepreneur

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

It Started As a Joke and Turned Into a Startup That Raised $1 Million in Funding