Can my employer use GPS tracking as evidence to fire me for misconduct ifI was not informed or consented to the GPS in my work vehicle?

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Can my employer use GPS tracking as evidence to fire me for misconduct ifI was not informed or consented to the GPS in my work vehicle?

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Actually, your employer probably can fire you for this. That is unless you have an employment contract, union agreement or company policy to the contrary, or your treatment consitutes actionable discrimination. The fact is that in most "at will" employment relationships an employer can fire an employee for this reason, any reason, or no reason at all.

That having been said, in CA it is against the law to install a GPS tracking device on a vehicle without first notifying an employee and obtaining their permission. Specifically, it is a criminal offense (a misdemeanor) to track any person’s location with an electronic device without that person’s consent. Cal. Penal Code § 637.7. 

While there is little expectation of privacy in the workplace itself, the law is not as clear when it comes to an employee's use of a business vehicle. Many factors come into play. Accordingly,  you probably have a civil claim for breach of privacy, etc. It all depends on the specifics of your case. At this point you should consult directly with an employment law attorney as to the validity of a claim for such a breach. Go over the details of your situation with them.


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