Is it against your rights for employer to check up on you at home?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it against your rights for employer to check up on you at home?

My car had a flat tire. I work early in the morning (4 am), so I took my wife’s car to work and advised my supervisor that I would be working a half day since my wife needed her car to get to work. I would get my car repaired. My employer did a drive by at my home. My car has run flat tires on it and they do not look flat like a conventional tire, so my employer claims that I lied about why I took a few hours off work. I have the invoice for the repair on my car but have not shown it to them because I feel they may have violated my rights and acted unethically.

Asked on April 3, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

While unusual, this action is legal. The fact is that your supervisor did not get out of their car and come onto your property and look into your garage; everything they observed was visible from a public street. The fact is that most employment is what is known as "at will". This means that a company can set the terms of the workplace much as it sees fit. This can even include checking up on an employee's excuse for leaving work early. The only exceptions would be if this action violated company policy or the terms of any applicable employment contract or union agreement. Also, your treatment must not have constituted some form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not appear to have).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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