Workplace Searches

Employees have different rights with regard to workplace searches, depending upon whether their employer is a public entity or a private employer.

Employees of public agencies usually have constitutional protections under the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which provides that persons have the right to not be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures. Private employers are usually not subject to the constitutional prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures. However, a private workplace search may violate the employee’s constitutional right of privacy and apply to public or private employers. Employees may have  of privacy rights in the workplace, such as inside their desks. Most employers have written polices stating that the employees do not have privacy interest in the contents of their desks, or in some circumstances, their computers. These policies may allow the employer to randomly search company property used by an employee.

However, without a clearly established policy or voluntary consent of the employee, employers may not conduct general searches of the employee’s property or the employee’s body, even if the employer suspects the employee has violated a crime, stolen company property, or has cause to believe the employee possesses illegal drugs.

For more information or for a free case evaluation call 1-877-219-8481