Right of Privacy
- By state statute people have a right against unreasonable, substantial or serious
interference with their privacy. (M.G.L.c.
214, s. 1B)
- In the employment area the courts have shown an interest in protecting employees from
questioning about personal matters that are of no business of the employer and from
invasions by the employer without adequate business justification into places where the
employee has an expectation of privacy.
- Historically the issue of privacy most often arose during the hiring process, inquiries
into drug or alcohol use, searches of employee's person or work space, or in the
dissemination of employee information by the employer.
- The latest area where the issue of privacy has arisen is with regard to e-mail and
whether an employer can read e-mail sent or received by its employees. Employers are
therefore advised to develop specific Internet/E-Mail policies
- By both state and federal statutes an employer may not subject its employees or
applicants for employment to a "lie detector" test or to discriminate against
such person for asserting his right not to take a lie detector test. (29 U.S.C. s. 2001; M.G.L. c. 149, s. 19B)
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