Saturday, December 11, 2010

Is Your Boss Spying on You?

The other day I came across this article on Yahoo! (and by now you've probably seen it too). It's about how companies are starting to hire private investigators to spy on employees that call in sick. Now, lets be honest. Just about everyone has called in sick for work when they really weren't. If you haven't done it yourself you probably know someone that has. (But for the record, I honestly have never done that. I like making money too much to miss a day unnecessarily!) In most of the jobs I've worked, I didn't receive any benefits with the job. So if I called in sick, I didn't get paid for that day, and that was pretty much the end of it. But apparently a lot of people that do receive benefits (like paid medical leave) are pretending to be sick in order to take advantage of those benefits at the company's expense.

I have mixed feelings about companies hiring private investigators to spy on employees. On one hand, I do agree that it's wrong to lie in order to take unfair advantage of a company and rip them off. On the other hand, they're invading their employees privacy for Christ's sake! In the article I linked to, there was a private investigator sitting outside the home of a person and watching his every move. I do think companies need to do as much as possible to prevent fraud like this, but I think this is extremely inappropriate.

Maybe I'm just young and idealistic, but shouldn't there be more trust in the employee/employer relationship? You trust your company to make sure there is work for you and to pay you on time for that work as well. You also have to have faith that if someone at work is harassing you that the company you work for will help you when you file a complaint. Shouldn't there be more trust on their end? Shouldn't they be willing to have faith that their employees are actually good, decent people? I can understand being suspicious of someone that frequently calls in sick for work or doesn't pull their weight. But these days it does seem like employers just automatically assume that people are lazy and not to be trusted.

But (*stepping off my soapbox now*) the point of this post? If you are abusing your benefits in this way, your job could be at risk. We already know about how employers google applicants to see if anything bad comes up and most people are starting to think twice before posting evidence of their latest girl's (drunken) night out. But you now have one more thing to worry about. I'm sure most of you aren't actually abusing your benefits in any way, but if you are, shame on you! You need to stop it immediately. Not just because your job is at stake, but also because it's just wrong.

What do you guys think? Does it bother you that your boss might be spying on you?

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