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Constitutional Rights

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Constitutional Rights

Constitutional Rights are afforded to every American Citizen by the first ten amendments to the Constitution or more commonly known as The Bill of Rights. The fourth amendment of The Bill of Rights applies to all and states, "the right of the people to be secure in their persons" (para.4). When a person accepts a position anywhere, whether at a small family owned grocery store or a major corporation, one does so with the understanding that some inalienable rights will be given up. This paper examines if an employer can crush those rights by using lie detector tests, monitor employee phone calls and emails; use surveillance cameras, and issue random drug-testing.


The American Civil Liberties Union states, "drug testing of individuals without cause is ineffective, expensive and, often times, illegal" (para. 1) as well as, "drug testing of individuals without cause is an affront to the Fourth Amendment" (para. 2). While the fourth amendment does state, "the right of the people to be secure in their persons," it does not imply that only the employee is to be secure in his person (para.4). At Kelsey High School, the administration has come to the conclusion that drug-testing while expensive and legal is in fact, effective. The children's safety while in the care of the school is the number one priority. Personal privacy is not being violated when a teacher is asked to take a drug test that will only ensure our youth is in safe hands.

Lie detector tests

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 prohibits private employers to request an employee to submit to a lie detector test whether that test is, for pre-employment or during an employee's term of employment, (Barnes, Dworkin, & Richards, 1980) Kelsey High school realizes that an employee may file suit against the school if he believes that they are wrongly accused. Furthermore, unless the employee is under investigation for embezzlement or any type of economic loss which would affect the school, the school board does not have a right to request that an employee submit to a polygraph test, unless the employee had direct access to the material. In cases such as theft should an employee should have direct access to the material or materials in question then the school would have a probable cause to believe that an employee is in fact, embezzling for his personal gain. The board of directors would then have a right to request that the employee submit to a polygraph test. However, before such an action is executed the employee has a right to know in writing what he is being accused of. If in agreement, he should sign a written document in order to consent to the test. Since this is a delicate matter, in such circumstances especially if the school wrongly accuses an employee research should always be done before tacking such actions as polygraph testing. Under the constitutional right of due process The University of Nebraska Medical Center (2000) stated, "those who are found guilty should be held responsible however, fairness here is specified in terms of the process rather than the outcome" (para. 25).

Surveillance Cameras

Under the Fourth Amendment, the court confirmed that what a person intentionally exposes to the community, even in his own home or office is not a topic of the Fourth Amendment security, but what one seeks to protect as personal even in an area available to the public may be constitutionally protected. A person walking along a public sidewalk or standing in a public park cannot sensibly expect that his action will be protected from the public eye or from surveillance cameras by the law.

This paper will examine the grounds why surveillance cameras are needed in public schools to avoid and discourage crime including law practices. The local Kelsey High school has an open campus policy for three, twenty-five minute lunch periods. Every year, three million young people in the United States fall target to crimes at school and almost two million of these events include violence. Most school violence takes the form of minor attacks although, some incidents are more critical. Middle school students are more than twice as likely as high school students to be affected by school violence. The average victim of harassment or robbery at school is a male in the seventh grade who is attacked by a boy his own age (Constitutional Rights Foundation-W.M. Keck).

E-Mail Privacy

The legality of monitoring e-mail in the workplace is not a clear cut situation. The law on the subject of employers' right to employee e-mails evolves as fast as the speed of technology these days. Federal law prohibits the unauthorized capture of electronic communications. If this law is violated, persons are subject to civil and criminal penalties. However, when electronic communications are downloaded to any company's computer, the electronic communication is subject to control by the employer.

The company's policy should contain specific terms to inform the employee that information on the company computers are confidential and this acknowledges the company the right to access any information from his computer at any time. They are at liberty to review and monitor any computers content. However, employers should limit their own access to employee e-mail and computer content only for legitimate business purposes, such as when there's a reasonable suspicion of work-related wrongdoing by the employee, rather than something non-specific or just fishing.



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