Suspicious Employees at Work

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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What Should an Employer do if it Suspects an Employee of Suspicious Behavior?

Before beginning any search, the manager should interview the employee who is suspected of misconduct and confront them with any facts that are known. This step will help in deciding whether there is a need for a search or for further investigation regarding the employee.

How Should an Employee Search be Conducted?

An employer must be extremely careful when conducting a search of one of its employees. The search should be done in a reasonable manner so as not to humiliate the employee. A degrading search will probably lead to potential liability and expensive litigation. 

Even though the Employee Consented to the Search, Can They Still Bring a Lawsuit?

Although the employee has consented to the search, they may still bring a lawsuit if the consent was sought through duress or coercion. If consent of the search was not made "voluntarily" but was "coerced," then a court may side with the employee in a cause of action. 

What Constitutes "Coercion or Duress" to an Employee for Submission to a Search on the Job? 

There are many types of coercion or duress. Some common forms found in an employment setting are:

Can an Employer Search the Body of an Employee?


Employers are strongly encouraged not to search an employee's body. Employees have the highest privacy rights when it pertains to the search of their bodies. If an employer must search their employees it is strongly suggested to limit the search to purses, bags, wallets, and outer clothing. Generally, no search should subject an employee to any type of embarrassment. 

Should I Seek an Attorney if an Employee Has Been Acting Suspiciously?

Employee suspicious behavior is always a very volatile subject. The risks of a lawsuit can be great. An employment attorney would be most beneficial in guiding you through proper procedures and protecting your interests.

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Last Modified: 11-29-2011 04:39 PM PST

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