WASHINGTON, D.C. – How do you feel about your work productivity being tracked by your employers? That’s a growing concern among workers in many industries. People concerned they could be penalized, even fired for their idle time.
During your work shift it’s not uncommon to use the restroom, grab a drink of water, step away from the computer for a few minutes and take a work call or jot down some notes on paper. However, more and more companies are using technology to monitor your productivity. They’re even monitoring how much time you’re not working. Some of these pauses can lead to penalties, like losing pay or even losing your job. While many companies argue this sort of monitoring will help increase productivity, Senator Bob Casey (D- PA) calls it invasive.
“I mean why should someone be penalized in a workplace if they’re taking that kind of a break,” asked Casey. “It comes down to a question of what’s the appropriate use of technology in the workplace.”
Casey recently sent the Department of Labor a letter urging them to look into this growing trend by employers. He’s concerned there is little oversight and accountability on how these technologies are impacting workers across the labor market.
“We’ve got to make sure that our regulatory process and our laws are keeping up with those advances in technology and in the workplace and use that technology to take action against workers,” said Casey.
Casey said recently the Federal Trade Commission announced they’re looking into harmful commercial surveillance with potential rulemaking. He hopes the Department of Labor will do the same, adding that if the department needs additional help in protecting workers’ privacy, he’ll be ready to help.
“If they need additional statutory authority I’m going to be ready to introduce it and lead the effort to pass it into law,” said Casey.