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Employees should decide on what information to surrender to employers - Essay Example

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According to Ferdinand Schoeman “A person has privacy to the extent that others have limited access to information about him, limited access to the intimacies of his life, or limited access to his thoughts or his body” …
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Download file to see previous pages According to Ferdinand Schoeman “A person has privacy to the extent that others have limited access to information about him, limited access to the intimacies of his life, or limited access to his thoughts or his body” Privacy encompasses the body, mind and possessions (Persson & Hansson, 2003). Employment is an individual’s source of livelihood. An individual, from the time of his or her application for work up to the moment of employment is required by the employer to provide personal information. The employer determines which information the employee should divulge. Not supplying certain data may mean termination from work. An applicant for a position may even be excluded from the list of qualified candidates by not providing the information asked by the employer. But should the employers determine which type of information the employees should reveal to the employer or the former have the right to do so. Requiring a worker to reveal personal information would be tantamount to a transgression of the privacy of the person if not work related. Employers, on the other hand, can insist that they have the right to require some information since they have to know more about the person they are hiring to work for them. Through such information, they can determine if their interest and investments would be safe from such person. Infringement into the privacy of an employee involves an ethical and legal issue. The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution explicitly guarantees the right of people to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” (Doyle, 2010, p. 2). Intrusion into the privacy of an employee must be justified from the start and related to the subject of the intrusion that would warrant the justification (Narducci v. Moore, 2009, as cited in Doyle, 2010). Sources of Information There are many types of information that can be taken from an individual. The usual procedure in getting information from an individual is through a form that asked for simple data such as the name of the applicant, address or status. Usually, a job applicant has to fill all the blanks that require specific information, otherwise the application will not be entertained. The employer may use these data for the background investigation of the applicant prior to hiring. Persson and Hansson (2003) mentioned three other sources of information, which are drug testing, genetic testing and surveillance, all of which are related to privacy issue. Genetic testing has two forms, genetic screening (which identifies “possible genetic predispositions” to diseases caused by chemicals) and genetic monitoring (which identifies diseases that resulted from chemical exposure in the work area) (Persson & Hansson, 2003, p. 59). Genetic testing may result to a social stigma although the employee does not actually develop the disease (Brady, 1995, as cited in Persson & Hansson, 2003). An individual can also be subjected to the “Hitler mentality” wherein those who do not fit the perfect race concept will become outcast in society (Brady, 1995, p. 52, as cited in Persson & Hansson, 2003, p. 60). Other information may not be as permanent as the genetic code, such as the personal items brought into the office, or the movement of the employee within the company premises. The latter case will fall under the third category mentioned by Persson and Hansson (2003), which is surveillance. The “smart” ID badges, for instance, can track down the whereabouts of a person anywhere within the building (Persson & Hansson, 2003). Tracking an employee while answering the call of nature would be irrelevant for the employer. And at that moment, the employee ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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