Source: www.personneltoday.com

Employees are often reluctant to report suspected misconduct because they fear retaliation from those that are engaged in the misconduct. This often prevents companies from discovering employee-related fraud at its early stages. While employer surveillance can go a long way to discovering wrongdoing in the workplace, employees are in a better position to know what their colleagues are doing and employers should have mechanisms in place to encourage their employees to report wrongdoing.  In a previous post, we referenced the recent $2 million alleged fraud by several York University employees. The University eventually became aware of the situation through a whistleblower, but by that time, it had been ongoing for over 7 years. This illustrates the importance of having transparent whistleblower protection policies that provide employees with a safe route for registering issues or complaints of wrongdoing within the company. Such protection policies will encourage early reporting to the employer and facilitate earlier discovery of wrongdoing thereby reducing the potential losses incurred. In addition, employees will be less likely to make the complaint externally, for example, directly to the media, if they know that their complaint will be taken seriously by the employer and properly investigated.
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Source: lawinquebec.wordpress.com

Employee surveillance is an excellent and available method by which companies can protect against fraud.  Monitoring of company-supplied hardware, software and access is perfectly legal and arguably compelling in Canada.  Many still act under the mistaken belief that when it comes to personal communications such as e-mail and social media forums such as Facebook and Twitter, anything intended as private and personal is protected.

In truth, such privacy is very limited. The legal rubric underlying such an assumption is “reasonable expectation of privacy”, an expression borrowed for global adaptation from the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution, and protected in the Canadian Charter.  Historically, personal communications and the privacy protections afforded them were sacrosanct. In addition to the medium of ‘snail mail’ being confidential in its own right—the sealed envelope—most jurisdictions honoured the British-based “Royal Mail Rule” premised upon the opening of personal mail as verboten.
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