Do Employees Have The Right To Privacy In The Workplace?

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Everyone has a right to privacy, but that right may not go as far as you think in your workplace. You certainly still have some expectation of privacy at work, but employers do have some leeway when it comes to watching over employees and protecting their own business interests. So if you suspect that your right to privacy has been violated at work, it is important to talk to a Midlothian employment attorney about what happened.

Do I Have a Complete Right to Privacy at the Workplace?

You have some privacy rights at the workplace. In general, you have the right to keep private facts about yourself confidential. Whether it is something about your family life or your medical history, there is info that your employer might have access to that not everyone else in your workplace does. They should not be revealing this kind of information with little thought and without your permission.

You also have the right to some degree of personal space. So that means that you have a place in the office that is yours, like a desk, cubicle, or office, and some expectation that people will not be constantly invading your space and privacy.

That said, whether you have an actionable legal claim against the employer for invasion of privacy is a tougher question that requires legal analysis.

What Could Be Acceptable Actions By an Employer?

Your employer is allowed to monitor their workplace and employees to some extent. For example, an employer could:

  • Install surveillance cameras to see people coming and going
  • Search belongings of employees if they have agreed to searches
  • Monitor computer and internet usage of employees
  • Test employees for drugs

These are all actions that an employer can take legally. These actions are not usually seen as a violation of your right to privacy.

When Is An Employer Invading My Privacy?

An employer can take things too far though. They can be accused of violating your privacy rights in situations like these:

Search and surveil private areas: Placing a surveillance camera in a dressing room or searching an employee’s locker without permission or notice could be seen as a privacy violation. Unless you know that searches are a possibility, your employer is ignoring your right to privacy by rifling through your locker.

Revealing personal information: If your employer gives out private information about you that substantially harms your reputation or damages you in some way, that needs to be dealt with.

Lying about you: An employer that lies about you may be also violating your right to privacy. If you have proof that they are defaming you to prospective employers or others in your industry, you may have a lawsuit on your hands.

Talk to an Employment Lawyer

If you do believe that your right to privacy was violated by your employer, you might have some options. Contact Passero Employment Law and schedule an appointment today. Our employment lawyer can look at your case and tell you more about what our firm can do for you.

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