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Employment Attorney Issues PSA Regarding “Anonymous” Work Surveys In Viral TikTok

TikTok user and lawyer Paige Sparks is cautioning employees to be wary of anonymous surveys at work, warning that despite the claims of anonymity, they may not be as private as they are led to believe.

“I don’t care what they tell you, those things are not anonymous,” Sparks says. “…“I’m not saying they’re lying to you but there is no legal obligation for them to make sure that’s anonymous.”

According to her website, Sparks practices employment law. She stated that unless there is illegal discrimination or retaliation involved, there is no legal recourse to prevent HR employees from sharing survey results with managers.

“Answering your company survey is kind of like your company email—they can access it or check it at any time,” Sparks said.

“I always say it’s better to be safe than sorry and just pretend like the person you’re wanting to complain about is reading that report, that way it can’t be used against you because if they do you may not have a lot of legal recourse.”

Harvard Business Review states that employees are more likely to participate in surveys if their anonymity is guaranteed. They also observed that employees respond differently depending on whether a survey is completed on paper or electronically through a computer, as the latter may have a distinct electronic identifier.

It’s important to distinguish between anonymous and confidential surveys. Confidential surveys require employees to share personal information that can be identified, but it will be kept confidential.

Viewers reported having experienced negative consequences concerning anonymous surveys.

Others stated that the involvement of a third party in conducting anonymous work surveys offered additional protection.

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