Do I Have Rights To Privacy At Workplace?
When identity theft has become common, and anyone is prone to having their confidential information stolen, workers continue wondering whether there is any hope left on their employers' hands. Every employee has a right to privacy. If you believe that your privacy rights have been infringed, your best option may be to file a lawsuit. But before that, you should understand what entails privacy rights and how your employer can invade them, and what exactly should be done by an employee whose rights have been violated.
Employee Privacy Rights
Employee’s privacy rights encompass all the personal information or activity conducted at the workplace. Each company has a polices set that dictates how employee’s privacy rights are to be protected. If you are in a situation where you need to know whether your privacy rights have been violated, you can look for an employment attorney in Orange County. Every state has its own rules on privacy and some of the guidelines set relate to:
· Personal information: Your employer is not supposed to inquire or even obtain facts concerning your personal aspects. Doing this may be infringing your private life. For instance, any information concerning your family life or personal characteristics should only be disclosed if needed for legitimate or legal purposes. When your employer requires such information, he/she should have consent, and in case the information is to be used by a third party, there must be consent for release forms.
· Drug testing: If your employer has asked you to have a drug test, you need to know the limits to such activities. Thankfully, California is among the states that include a right to privacy regarding drug testing. Whether you are a job applicant or an employee, your employer should make sure to conduct drug testing following the set laws. Again, if you have a disability that requires you to have drug testing conducted on you, you may argue that the Americans Disabilities Act (ADA) protects you from any dismissal. For such cases, one should look out for an experienced lawyer who understands laws on employee drug testing.
· Employee search: Most private companies have a policy to search their employees. However, any search that is conducted without any authorization from a legal agency may be illegal. This is mostly when personal searches are related to the body.
There are many ways in which your employer may violate your privacy rights. If you believe your privacy rights have been unlawfully violated, the solution lies in seeking justice.
How Do I Prove My Employer Violated My Privacy Rights?
In any given case, proving a privacy violation is better determined by a judge. But how does this happen? For any case, the judge has to weigh two options. For one, he/she must determine that your employer was justified inaction taken, and how the workers viewed the employer act concerning their expectations on privacy. For instance, you may have a high expectation that your employer was not supposed to have a video camera in the washrooms. It's illegal for an employer to install a surveillance camera in places designed to be employers changing or restrooms in California. Thus, you stand a better chance to prove your employer infringed your privacy if you prove that:
· The video was placed in a secret place: Having a video camera installed above a cashier’s desk is reasonable enough to ensure no one steals any cash. However, if the video camera is hidden above changing or restrooms, this may be considered a privacy invasion.
· Information disclosure: Your employer may have collected your health information with consent but went ahead and disclosed the information to other employers. This may be termed as a violation of confidentiality.
· Invasion of your private life: Private investigators may be hired to monitor you on your way from work to check whether you go to work for a competitor. If you become aware of such actions and your employer fires you, later he/she cannot show that you disclosed any personal information of the business; you may claim that your privacy rights were violated.
· Psychological tests conducted: If your employer is asking for the psychological test to be conducted for no legitimate reason, he/she may be violating your privacy rights. Workplace testing is acceptable; an employer may be in dire need of knowing who may be a threat to other employees. But not every workplace testing is considered legal.
In a nutshell, any success of your invasion of privacy rights claim will be determined by:
ü Employers need to conduct surveillance
ü Employee the expectation of their privacy
If you have a reasonable argument, the judgment may be made in your favor. However, the employer may also have strong arguments too on why they conducted the surveillance. In such a case, you can choose to work with an experienced employment lawyer to fight back. To know more about privacy rights in California, you can speak to an employment lawyer today.