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News Notes: Electronic Surveillance Common In The Workplace

A new American Management Association survey reveals that 63% of mid- and large-sized U.S. firms monitor their employees. Financial sector employers utilize electronic observation the most, and manufacturing companies use it the least. According to the report, 35% of the employers surveyed record employees’ phone calls, review voice mail, check computer files and e-mail, or videotape workers. Another 37% monitor telephone numbers called and length of calls. Employee advocates argue the survey is new evidence that stricter workplace privacy laws are needed. Employer groups, however, counter that there are legitimate uses for electronic surveillance and abuses are rare.