Explaining the purpose of the monitoring to the employees. Installing cameras only in work areas, not in environments that could invade privacy (e.g. restrooms, changing rooms, bathrooms).Avoiding the use of the video system for discriminatory purposes. i.e., to monitor only one sector of the company or a specific employee.
1. Is employee monitoring legal in Brazil?
Yes. The company has the right to monitor the daily work activities of its employees. That said, this practice should be done without infringing employee privacy or violating any labor laws. The right to monitor is backed by Article 5 of Brazil’s federal constitution, which provides the right to compensation for property or moral damages or damages to the image.
2. Is it legal to monitor employee internet and social media activities?
Yes. The answer is similar to the previous question. In most instances, the employer has the right to ensure that employees use the Internet they have provided for work-related purposes during paid hours. Employers can monitor internet activities such as websites visited, time spent online during working hours, and even limit visits to specific sites. As far as monitoring social media activities is concerned, Brazilian legislation is yet to regulate companies’ social media monitoring. Still, employees should understand that if company policies prohibit social media use during working hours, they must comply.
3. Is it legal to monitor screen contents and keystrokes?
Yes. Employers can use tools that monitor screen contents and keystrokes on a work computer. A general guideline is that employees should note is that every daily activity log software carried out on a work computer can be accessed by their employer, mostly where clear and documented policies have been communicated.
4. Is it legal to monitor email content?
Yes, if this is a company corporate email account, they are obligated to prohibit the use of corporate emails for personal use. Before doing so, the company must clearly inform their employees about the monitoring of the email. In other words, clear policies that indicate that corporate emails are solely for professional use should be provided. This will enable the employer to take appropriate actions against its employees if corporate emails are used for purposes other than corporate use.
5. Is it legal to monitor or record phone conversations?
Yes. For example, Brazil’s laws allow some sectors, call centre companies, to monitor or record phone conversations with customers as a regulatory requirement to support fair treatment of customers and good conduct. This is also supported by Decree No. 6,523 of July 31, 2008, which requires these services to record their calls. However, in a conventional office, this could be a bit controversial. Listening to conversations without the employee being aware could lead to a breach of confidentiality in item XII of Article 5 of the federal constitution. The company must ensure that the monitoring process does not infringe on the fundamental right of the employee.
6. Is it legal to use video monitoring systems in the workplace?
Yes. In Brazil, video surveillance systems in the workplace are common practice. Some employees use video monitoring systems for legitimate business purposes. However, limitations laid down in the constitution must be respected. Installing video monitoring systems in environments that invade employee’s privacy may lead to the violation of Item X of Article 5 of Brazil’s Federal Constitution. This law states that every individual has the right to privacy, private life, honor, and image are inviolable, and the right to compensation for property or moral damages where such infringement is committed.
Certain precautions should be taken when installing a video monitoring system:
Notifying employees that their work environment is being monitored through a video system.