Earlier this month, a woman filed a lawsuit against her employer. The lawsuit claims seem fairly straightforward. The worker claims that her employer engaged in unfair business practices, invaded her privacy and terminated her wrongfully. These kinds of claims are filed in courts all across America, nearly every day. However, something makes this woman’s claim unique. She only filed her claim after she refused to allow her employer to track her movements all day, every day.
Certainly, some very specific professions may require constant monitoring. If you are a CIA operative on a mission or you are a member of the Special Forces on assignment, your every move may be monitored for a time. In addition, your employer may require you to monitor your movements during working hours under certain circumstances. However, there is little reason to believe that an ordinary employer has the right to track your movements during your non-working hours, absent a highly specific job description.
The woman who recently filed suit did not work in specialized intelligence gathering, military strategy or law enforcement. She was a regional sales executive for a company called Intermex. Her employer required her to have an app installed on her phone that tracked her movements all day, every day. After she uninstalled the app in order to keep her private life private, her employer fired her.
The area of law which deals explicitly with data privacy is still evolving. However, the fact that an area of law is evolving does not mean that employers have the right to trample all over the basic rights of their employees. If your employer attempts to infringe upon your privacy in significant ways, do not hesitate to speak to an attorney experienced in employment law about your legal options.
Source: Findlaw Law & Daily Life, “Woman Fired For Deleting 24 Hour Tracking App,” Le Trinh, May 14, 2015