Concerned About Any Employer Searching Your Property? Consider These Details And Then Consult An Employment Attorney
When you show up at work each day, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. However, you must also remember that you're working for a company with equipment that the company owns, and in a building that belongs to that organization, and that means that your employer often has certain rights that you might not necessarily agree with. It's possible that your employer may have searched something that you own or that you're using, with or without much in the way of an explanation. While you might feel a sense of violation and fell as though you have legal options, you should consider a handful of details before you consult with an employment law attorney.
Ownership Of What Was Searched
One of the biggest things to consider when your employer searches something that you use at work is who owns the object. For example, you might take offense to your employer searching your computer, but he or she has a right to do so because the company owns the computer. It's a bigger concern if your employer has asked to see your personal cellphone and has requested that you unlock it so that he or she can look on it. This is a breach of privacy and a good reason to contact an employment attorney.
Justification For The Search
Certain workplace issues can prompt an employer to search his or her employees' coats, purses, or even personal vehicles. A common scenario involves workplace theft. If something has disappeared, the employer may understandably want to search his or her staff to see if someone took it. Legally, there should be some justification for the search. For example, if someone has been stealing office supplies, the employer shouldn't take all of the purses and root through them. Instead, he or she should only search the possessions of someone who was perhaps observed taking the office supplies in question. If you feel that you were searched without justification, an employment attorney can help you.
Threats About The Search
In most cases, an employer isn't going to physically detain you or physically wrestle your property away to search. However, he or she may threaten you in a manner that you feel is unjust. For example, the employer might say, "If you don't hand me your purse so that I can search it, you will be terminated." This type of threat is not appropriate in the workplace. Give as many details of your situation as possible when you speak to an employment attorney, and he or she will let you know whether you have grounds for legal action.