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Can My Employer Randomly Search Employees as We Leave Work for the Day?
The answer depends on what your employer's policies are, and what the employer's reason is for searching employees. If something very expensive has gone missing, and your employer has a written policy in place warning employees that they may be searched, then it may be legal. However, your employer still would be required to search employees in a reasonable way. For example, searching purses, briefcases, and backpacks, but not bodies. If your employer is simply conducting searches as a daily routine, they may be overstepping their bounds.
Can My Employer Install Cameras in the Workplace?
The answer here also depends on your employer's intentions. The main issues are where the employer wants to put the cameras and why. Your employer must have a reasonable, legitimate business reason for wanting to monitor his employees by camera, such as for security reasons or to prevent theft. Some states have made certain areas of the workplace off-limits to cameras, such as restrooms.
The most important thing to know about cameras in your workplace is that your employer is required to let you know that they are there.
Can My Employer Fire Me Because of My Personal Beliefs?
Maybe. Federal and state law protect employees from being discriminated against due to their religious or political beliefs. However, your employer does have a right to terminate you if you bring your beliefs into the workplace in a disruptive way.
Can My Employer Require Me to Take a Psychological Test Before Promoting Me to Management?
Psychological tests given by employers are questionable and often too invasive. If you feel that your employer does not have a good reason for wanting to give you the test, or if the questions made you uneasy, then you may have a justifiable claim that your employer is violating your right to privacy.
Can My Employer Read My E-Mail?
Generally yes, your employer can read your e-mail. Much will depend on your employer's computer policies. If the policy is that company computers are to be used for business purposes only, then your employer has a right to monitor your e-mail to make sure no personal emails are being sent. But if your employer has policies that lead employees to think that their e-mail communications are private, then your employer's rights may be more limited. To be on the safe side, conduct all of your internet communications, including e-mail and instant messenger, as if your employer is monitoring your actions.
Do I Need an Employment Lawyer to Help Me to Deal With Workplace Privacy Issues?
If you believe that you have been inappropriately searched, videotaped, terminated based on your beliefs or electronic communications, or that your privacy in general has been violated in the workplace, you should consider speaking with an employment lawyer. An attorney will be familiar with the state and federal laws that apply to your personal employment situation and will be able to advise you of your legal rights and options.
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Last Modified: 07-23-2012 04:16 PM PDT
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