Can an employeer pat you down due to an off duty arrest?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employeer pat you down due to an off duty arrest?

I was arrested off work grounds. I had an appointment to meet with human resources and was then patted down when I entered the building. Is this legal?

Asked on October 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is legal in the sense that if you refused to allow this, they could have suspended or terminated you; so it's not like you could be forced to be patted down the way the police can, in the appropriate circumstances, pat you down no matter what you want or say, but the employer can make you choose between the pat down and your job. The 4th Amendment protection against searches, etc. only applies to the government, not private employers; private employers can make you consent to searches if you want to keep your job.

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