November 8, 2019
by Jacqueline N. Rau, Esq. & Justin M. Burns, Esq., Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 30 percent of employees drive as part of their job duties. Because employers can be held accountable for an employee’s actions, what can an employer do to protect itself from future liability?
Some employers turn to Global Positioning Systems, which collect information related to an employee’s movements. The legality of such a practice, however, is unknown. Such a practice may be easier in employer-owned vehicles or on employer-owned devices, because Ohio employees have no expectation of privacy in employer-owned spaces. If GPS tracking is used in personal vehicles or other personal devices, or if information is collected after business hours while an employee is on personal time, an employee’s privacy may well be protected by the courts. For instance, in New York, a court found that installing a GPS device on a state employee’s personal vehicle was an unreasonable search. In 2015, a California woman sued her employer when she was terminated for uninstalling a GPS tracking application from her company-issued smartphone.
An employer who wishes to implement a GPS tracking program should consider the following best practices: