Rights in the Workplace

Monday, January 04, 2010

Lewis Maltby, author of Can They Do That? Retaking Our Fundamental Rights in the Workplace, talks about personal rights in the workplace and existing laws, which he believes often side with the employer.


Lewis Maltby

Comments [8]

Gerald Fnord from Palos Verdes, CA

I guess it's a good thing that the Declaration of Independence has no legal standing, as it describes as 'unalienable'---that is, 'inalienable', not subject to being disposed-off by sale or conveyance---rights which modern life demands that we contractually surrender on a daily basis.

Jan. 04 2010 11:52 AM

Re: Oliver

When asked by his employer why he went over the bridge, why didn't he simply answer, "I was off duty. Why do you ask,?" with a friendly smile?

Oliver felt invaded because he answered the question, which was none of his employer's business.

Of course we can talk about what our respective employers may or may not be able to access, with or without the help of the courts. But fundamentally this is an issue of personal boundaries. If one permits one's employer to invade one's privacy, they will. One has to decide for oneself what level of privacy is appropriate.

Your guest was correct: Turn off your GPS, Oliver, the minute you go off shift. That is an efficient way to bound your privacy.

Jan. 04 2010 11:50 AM
Amy from Manhattan

If your company is paying for 1/2 of your smartphone account, doesn't there have to be some kind of agreement you sign to have them do it, & wouldn't that agreement spell out all the terms, incl. whether the employer can have access to the content of that account? Read before you sign *anything*!

Jan. 04 2010 11:43 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Dose the American cooperate State need the Stasi, Ministry for State Security?

Jan. 04 2010 11:37 AM
A listener

People get lazy. If you have a company issued blackberry, it's easier to give your friends and family that number and email address on the premise that if they need to reach you, sooner is better than later.

People should expect random checks of email because everyone signs some sort of ethics code each year and the employer is going to spot check for compliance.

Jan. 04 2010 11:36 AM
cobblehillary from brklyn

it's gone far far beyond the KNOWN means. Some place spy-cams in offices. Wall Street who is above the common laws that govern 95% of the population will place spy-cams in other brokerage frims. I speak from experience Brain. It's a brave and ugly new world out there when it comes to BIG MONEY interests and TV Networks!

Jan. 04 2010 11:36 AM
hjs from 11211

i sure hope they don't find out how much time i spend posting here!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan. 04 2010 11:32 AM
Jim Von Schilling from Somerville, NJ

Hi Brian!

This is something I know about! I teach a humanities course entitled "The American Work Experience" at Northampton Community College (on campus and also online).

I try to show my students that the Big Picture here is that our society is the product of a "mixed-marriage" between democracy and capitalism. They are both human inventions with some flaws in each and definitely some conflicts when you marry them together.

From the viewpoint of democracy, people should have the same rights in the workplace as they do outside of it. But capitalism is not democratic! Maybe the best we can do is make "adjustments" to capitalism when flaws in the system become very troublesome.

Jan. 04 2010 08:08 AM

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