Woman scared looking at computer

Can My Employer Spy on Me While Working at Home?

With more employees working from home than ever before, it’s essential to know what employment law rights Canadian employees have, especially when it comes to knowing what their boss can see, and not see.

Is it Legal for Employers to Monitor a Worker's Computer?

Yes - if it is done properly, employers can spy on their employees while they work from home. Just as if everyone was back in the office, the boss is in charge of supervising employees to make sure tasks are completed in a timely manner.

Other reasons a supervisor would spy include:

  • Protecting the company — knowing what an employee is doing, especially if something is unethical, helps protect the company in the long run.
  • Protecting company property — if an employee who works from home has company property, and uses that property for something other than work-related purposes (such as scrolling on social media) then the employee is putting the company at risk. Social media and third-party websites are more susceptible to viruses and malware. By ensuring that an employee is only using company property for work-related business keeps everyone safe.

Does My Boss Have to Let Me Know They’re Tracking Me?

Yes. Employees have the right to be informed should their employer put tracking software or other spying software on their company computer. As a good rule of thumb, employees should only do work-related activities on their company’s property. This will ensure that if a supervisor is tracking you, you are compliant with only doing work on your company property.

Should an employer want to begin tracking employees, the following should be kept in mind:

  • Employees have the right to be informed that monitoring is conducted on their work computers. Employees should be told how they are being recorded and who that information will be shared with.
  • Employees have the right to refuse company monitoring software. However, if an employee refuses to accept this, they should be prepared for consequences within the company.
  • If employee tracking is monitored, the employee should have the right to obtain those recordings if they ask for them.

If you feel your employee rights have been violated, contact the team at Guardian Law Group LLP. With more than 200 years of combined experience, our Calgary lawyers will fight for your rights and the best outcome possible so that you’re properly compensated if you were wronged, including in the areas of wrongful dismissal or a human rights violation

Contact us today to get started — (403) 457-7778.