Cincinnati employment lawyer Peter M. Burrell from the firm of Strauss Troy joinedMoore Law host and TV journalist Deb Haas and attorney co-host Don Moore for the topic of “Can My Boss Do That?” After one caller, Denise in Cincinnati, described how her employer fired her without any previous warnings about work performance and was appealing her unemployment claim, Don asked Peter what employers are allowed to do in regards to worker privacy. “I’ve heard of employers sometimes snooping on email—either looking at your email or putting a tattletale program on your computer—to see where you spend your time when you’re on your computer,” Don said. “Are they allowed to do that?”
“The answer is, ‘It depends,’” Peter said. “Most employers that I advise, I tell them to put in their employment handbook that they have the right to do that and that their employees have no expectation of privacy in the computer equipment, or the PDAs [personal digital assistants] or the smartphones that they are given as part of their employment. So, that’s the smart thing to do if you’re the employer, and that does allow them to snoop on the emails and whatever else they’ve provided as part of the employment.”
Other questions from Moore Law viewers included Sean in southeast Indiana talking about the actions his employer took against him after he became a union steward and negotiated a new contract his general manager was not pleased with, Deborah in Cincinnati saying she had been fired after giving a statement regarding sexual harassment she had witnessed, Holly in Cincinnati explaining that the hospital she works at makes her clock out even though she is still working, Lisa in Cincinnati discussing mandatory meetings at her job that she is not paid to attend, Paula in Cincinnati asking if her company could place an ad for her job while she was on medical leave and Barry in Cincinnati inquiring as to whether his employer could suddenly change the commission sales agreement he had been working under.
Two email questions from viewers also got answers from Don’s son, Cincinnati personal injury attorney Dan Moore, during the show’s “Moore Law Connection” segment. Viewers can “like” Moore Law on Facebook, follow the show on Twitter or ask questions via the form on this page or the Moore Lawsection of the FOX 19 website to take advantage of “Moore Law Connection.” Submitting a question electronically for the “Moore Law Connection” segment will not guarantee an answer on air.
You can watch the whole “Can My Boss Do That?” show in the video above. Next Monday, Deb and Don Moore will be joined by Cincinnati Bar Association Executive Director John C. Norwine to take discuss “Careers in the Law.” That episode will air live on Monday, August 27, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. on WXIX-TV, FOX19.