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Privacy in the workplace: International perspectives

Privacy in the workplace – drug testing, employee surveillance, searches, screening, physical exams, polygraphs, etc. – in Belgium, Israel and France are examined in this panel discussion.

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The author describes the pernicious effects of performance monitoring on employees: its intrusiveness, the lack of notice afforded employees of its use and how the data gathered will be used, and the fairness of standards applied to the data. Monitoring is viewed as “bad working conditions, bad management, and bad labor relations.”

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The author distinguishes between the Supreme Court’s finding of a Constitutional right of personal privacy from governmental action and actions by private employers. “Instead of defining those rights, arbitrators assume that they will know them when they see them…” The reasonable expectation of privacy of public employees will yield to reasonable grounds for suspecting that …

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The author discusses the invalidity of the polygraph, the voice stress analyzer, the facial ticometer, the pupillopmeter and other electronic lie-catching apparatus, and considers more reliable principles of credibility.

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Admissibility of evidence

Excerpts from workshops on the admissibility of evidence. The subjects include 1) the grievant’s prior employment record; 2) spotters’ reports; 3) decisions of other tribunals; 4) new evidence at hearing; 5) the grievant’s post-discharge conduct; 6) stolen documents; 7) lie detector tests, and 8) burden of proof.

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The search for truth: Comment

Attorney McFall describes the impediments to ascertaining the truth, and the usefulness of complete and timely pre-hearing disclosure and the production of witnesses with knowledge of the facts. He opines that it would be a mistake to conclude that polygraphs are so unreliable that they should never be used.

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A survey of the statutory, judicial, and related public employment dispute-settlement developments at the federal, state, and local levels in 1977. It contains a state-by-state analysis of legislation enacted, developments in the federal sector under the Executive Orders, and a digest of selected appellate and high-court decisions. A brief section is included on research and …

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The author draws upon Privacy and Freedom (Westin, Athenaeum, 1967) to identify three surveillance techniques: observation, extraction and reproduction, and to discuss the propriety of each as a detection, control or evaluative device in the workplace. Surveillance by extraction, including polygraph testing and personality testing, is condemned as overly invasive and unreliable. Surveillance by reproduction …

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Problems of proof in the arbitration process: Report of the Chicago Area Tripartite Committee

A discussion of hearing procedures and the rules of evidence. [See also the transcript of the open discussion, 1966 page 110.]

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