Searches and Surveillance

Whether a workplace search is legal or not depends in part on the reasonableness of the employee's expectation of privacy and the reasonableness of the employer's surveillance. If you are in doubt about whether you should do a search, consult an attorney.

Office searches. If you do conduct a search of employee's desks, lockers, or other "personal space," there are a few things that you should do beforehand:

Workplace surveillance. Workplace surveillance might include the installation of cameras in your office, production facility, or showroom floor. Regardless of what you are monitoring, surveillance should not extend to the restroom or lounge areas of the workplace. And once an employee leaves the workplace, surveillance should end.

Surveillance can be an expensive, time-consuming way to investigate a matter. If you feel that you must employ it as a tool, consult both legal and technical professionals to help you make the right choices. Also consider whether the actions you will take based on the surveillance justify the expense you will incur.