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By: Justin Boron
You probably already know that your apps know where you were last night. But did you know that employers might too?
It is all but accepted that our geolocations are being tracked, which is part and parcel of using a smartphone. But employers, particularly through their employees’ use of company vehicles and smartphones, have increasingly found geotracking useful too. There are a number of legitimate reasons to track employees’ locations. For example, companies that operate trucking fleets have—and sometimes are required to— track their driver’s locations. Some employers track their outside sales employees to monitor and improve efficiencies.
But employers should take caution in unbridled tracking and be aware when and how they might be collecting private employee information. Many state legislatures have or are contemplating imposing new requirements on employers who want to collect employee location data. For example a New Jersey law is set to take effect on April 18, 2022 requiring employers to give written notice to employees if they “knowingly” use a “tracking device in a vehicle.” Similarly, courts have begun to recognize a privacy tort for collection of employee data.
With new standards emerging for employee privacy, employers should assess the potential legal implications of collecting employee geodata including whether notice is required or might mitigate the risk of an employee lawsuit.
Basic steps include: