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What are my privacy rights at work?

Nobody likes a nosy boss in the workplace, but there is a difference between being nosy and violating your privacy rights. Among all the rights you have as an employee, you also have the right to a certain degree to privacy in the workplace. Knowing the nosiness and a violation of your rights is not easy, but here is what you should know as an employee:

Can your employer search through your belongings?

You may not want your employer to search through your purse, backpack or coat, but if they are on company property, there is a good chance that they have the right to look through them, especially if there is a workplace policy in place about it.

Your employer also has the right to look through employee computers to look through the documents on the device and track your activity on it. Each state has unique laws about this, so it is worth checking with a union representative or attorney about what is legal or not.

Your employer can search company cars, but not personal ones, when it comes to your car. However, if your employer believes there is something dangerous in your car, they can call the police, who will be able to search your vehicle.

Lastly, when it comes to body searches, it depends on what is happening at the time. If your employer suspects something was stolen or you have a job with high-risk or valuable assets, they may be able to search you, especially if there is something in the employee handbook about it. It is worth noting that these searches cannot be too invasive.

Trust your instincts

If you suspect that your employer is violating your rights, consult with an employment law attorney. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding what your employer can and cannot do when it comes to searching you and your property, and you deserve to hold employers accountable if they violate your rights.

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