I ran across an interesting article today and am curious to see how all of you feel about it, and what your opinion is on the matter.
A woman in Zürich, Switzerland lost her job for surfing around on Facebook, the popular social networking site that everyone is a member of now. This may seem like a cut and dry case, but the kicker is, the woman had called into work sick that day and was at home when accessing the site. Her company had sent her a mystery "friend request" to see if she was using the site while at home.
Apparently, the woman had claimed she was unable to work in front of a computer that day and had to lie in a darkened room with no lights on, (sounds to me like she had a migraine.) That same day, her Facebook account was showing that she had accessed her profile.
According to the employer, it wasn't the fact that she was on Facebook that she lost her job, but the fact that this employee had completely destroyed the company's trust in her, presumably because she wasn't actually "laying down in a dark room" as she claimed she needed to. She claims she was surfing the site on her iPhone while lying in bed.
Is this a violation of the woman's privacy? In my opinion, yes. I can completely understand monitoring the use of this site while in the work place, but to monitor someone's use at home is a completely different story. This company was actually monitoring what she was doing on her sick day? What's next? Would they like her to check in every hour to make sure she isn't doing anything besides lying down? C'mon.
Maybe she was feeling better and decided to go online to check her email. Maybe someone in her family had accidentally signed in as her. There are many reasons why her account could have been accessed that day, some without her even knowing it.
I think the company crossed the line. Employees have sick days for a reason, and to spy on someone like this, and then fire her for it, is completely ludicrous to me. Besides, doesn't this company have anything better to do? If you ask me, spying on sick employees is a complete waste of company time, much more so than an employee going online when they are home sick.
What do you think? Do you think companies have the right to monitor employees who are home sick, and in turn fire them for "trust violation" if they are found to be doing something other than lying in bed?