Nov 17, 2014 / Written by Woody Myers

is-gps-legalIt’s a question that comes up when companies are examining whether or not to adopt GPS Tracking.  They don’t want to reap the benefits of this solution just to open themselves up to lawsuits.

While there’s no clear-cut, across-the-board answer as of yet, early challenges to the practice have shown that GPS Tracking is legally acceptable.

A Coca-Cola bottler in Missouri was investigating a theft and installed GPS devices in company vehicles, but when one of the employees cleared of the crime learned of the activity, he sued for invasion of privacy. The court rejected his claim and said that the company had the right to track its own vehicles, and that the information it was gathering ? the location of the car ? was ?highly public? anyway and therefore not private enough to warrant an invasion of privacy claim.

Another prominent case involved a school worker in New York who was issued a company cellphone with GPS tracking installed.

The employer used the data to determine that the employee was continually leaving work early and falsifying his time cards. After he was terminated, he filed a grievance seeking his job back; however, the judge ruled that the employer had a legitimate reason to track his movements and that he was aware of the monitoring. The termination was upheld.

As you can see, initial challenges have gone in favor of GPS monitoring.  But there’s some things you should do before implementing the solution.  A lawyer for Fisher & Phillips in Atlanta provides employers with the following tips on how to lawfully monitor employees? activities while using GPS:

  1. Identify the legitimate business interests they are seeking to protect.
  2. Prepare a policy that is narrowly tailored to protect theses interest without intruding on the privacy of employees during non-working hours and personal activities.
  3. Obtain a written acknowledgement from employees providing that they consent to the tracking or monitoring and that they understand the policy.

Create a road map for how you want to use GPS Tracking, let your employees know what you are doing & how, and make sure everything is in writing.  For more information on GPS tracking, call 1-800-446-1991.