Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Cornell HR Review


employee monitoring, workplace, privacy, work, wiretap act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Stored Communications Act, electronic monitoring, federal statutes, law


This article will examine issues as they relate to the privacy of employees’ lives given that nearly everything can be discovered by some form of electronic monitoring. It will posit that most laws as they exist today do little to apprise either the employer or the employee as to what type of electronic monitoring of personal communications is acceptable. It will further propose that most employer policies related to scrutinizing employee electronic communications are vague and unsuitable. The article will conclude that, given the leeway employers tend to be given (often justifiably so) in monitoring employees there is little chance that we will soon see any standardization of laws regarding what can be done with electronically obtained information. Because of this, the author asserts that, given the vague state of the law, employers need to devise effective monitoring policies in order to strike a balance between their interests and the privacy interests of their employees.