Employers now have the ability to track employees’ movement and location using GPS and related tracking technology on employees’ vehicles and smartphones. The benefits of electronic tracking include monitoring employees’ performance and productivity, accurate time recording, and ensuring employees’ safety during work related travel. But using electronic tracking technology without the proper legal safeguards in place can lead to fines, sanctions, and costly lawsuits.
Some best practices to keep in mind when implementing electronic tracking technology in the workplace:
1. Install tracking devices only on employer owned or leased vehicles or cellular phones and related devices.
2. Use electronic tracking to monitor employees’ movement only during work hours. Tracking employees during non-work hours could lead to an invasion of privacy claim.
3. Obtain an employee’s written consent before using electronic tracking on a vehicle or cellular phone or related device, even if the vehicle or cellular phone/related device is company owned.
4. Have a policy in place that notifies employees of the purpose of electronic tracking and how the data will be used. Distribute the policy before using electronic tracking and have employees acknowledge receipt of the policy.
Privacy laws change and evolve as quickly as technology itself. Consult myHRcounsel to make sure that your use of electronic tracking is compliant with federal, state, and local laws.
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