We Know Where You Are

“I have employees in the field who have company cell phones with GPS tracking. This is so great because I can log in anytime and see where they are and how long they’ve been there. However, one of my employees, Joe has removed the GPS tracking device. Can I fire him for that?”

Your HR Survival Tip

Tracking employee movement through GPS is a great tool but it can also be the topic of lawsuits lately. While you can fire Joe for altering company property, you should look at the bigger picture first.

In California, particularly, more and more privacy laws are being enacted and you may be viewed as stomping on Joe’s privacy… especially during his non-working hours. We’ve seen how the GPS programs can show real-time movements of the employee, the route, and the length of time at each stop. Does your particular software have a way to shut down when Joe stops working for the day? If you can see what Joe is doing during his non-working hours, you may have legal issues.

Review your policies about leaving company phones on after hours and general use of that phone, plus review the GPS application’s capabilities. If shutting the GPS off during non-working hours is possible or your policy allows employees to turn the phone off when not working, then your policy can easily indicate disciplinary action for altering company equipment. You may have fewer options otherwise.

Tracking employee movement during working hours seems to be in our future. Now is the time to develop a policy that fits your business needs while being respectful of your employee’s privacy.

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