• Whistleblowers' Computers May Be Monitored
  • March 2, 2018
  • Whistleblowers play an important role in upholding laws and industry regulations. They are also often in precarious positions where they can face demotion, termination, and other adverse actions from their employers for their choice to report the violations they observe.

    Any would-be whistleblower must be careful when using company-owned property to gather information to support and make the claim. Companies monitor the devices their employees use, their employees’ locations, and their employees’ actions. To ensure that their rights are protected and that they are not violating any laws while acting as whistleblowers, employees in this position should work closely with employment lawyers who can provide legal advice and representation.

    Workers Should Assume Company Property Is Monitored
    Workers should always be extremely cautious when using company property for activities other than their job duties. Although not all companies monitor their employees’ devices, any company can choose to do this and use the information they collect via monitoring to justify terminating an employee or taking other actions against them.

    Companies monitor the computers they issue to employees, but they can also monitor workers’ activities through the following:

    Company-issued smartphones
    Cloud-based services, like email providers and employee portals
    The company network
    Printers, scanners, and other devices on the company network
    Management software used by remote workers
    The company server; when workers access files on a server, the company can track when and which files were accessed, and which worker accessed them
    With certain applications, a company may be able to see the actions an employee takes using their own computer or smartphone.

    How Workers Can Protect Their Anonymity
    Knowing that work-issued devices could be monitored should not dissuade an employee from acting as a whistleblower. There are many ways an individual can protect their anonymity when reporting violations that occur at their company. Employees in this position should take the following steps to ensure their privacy when reporting company violations:

    Create new email and social media accounts that are not connected to their company accounts
    Abstain from logging into personal accounts while using the company network
    Use a personal computer or smartphone to make whistleblowing reports
    If the worker must use a company computer or network to report, they should use a separate operating system or an encrypted USB to gather and store relevant data
    Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Represent Whistleblowers Who Faced Retaliation
    If you suspect wrongdoing at your company, you have the right to notify the appropriate authorities. For legal support as you act as a whistleblower, work with our team of Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fill out our online form or call us at 215-569-1999 today to schedule your initial consultation. We are in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas.