What are the Boundaries between Legal and Illegal GPS Time Tracking?
Every modern company uses GPS time tracking to monitor employees who are working from their vehicles. For instance, drivers or deliverers believe they have more freedom being compared to employees, working from an office. But that’s not quite true. With the help of GPS time tracking the employer has the incredible change to check whether the employee is working according to his schedule or is trying to get away from work. The employer has the right to ask the employee what he was doing during his working hours in the local bar instead of working. However, it is not acceptable to monitor the employees in their free time before or after work and check what places they are visiting in their days off.
Employer has to inform the employees they are been monitored but he is not obligated to tell them what is the purpose of surveillance. There is an interested case in New York City when an employee was fired after time tracking information should he was often leaving the work place before the end of the work day. Still he was getting paid for the hours when he was supposed be working. This person sued the company because he was not informed he was monitored with time tracking system. He explained that if he knew that fact, he would never leave work before the end of the working day. He did not win the case because the employer was monitoring him during the working hours. Yet there would be no case at all if the employer had informed the employee for the use of tracking system.
It is recommended the GPS time tracking to be included in the policy of the company. Moreover, that policy has to explain the employees that the vehicle that has installed GPS tracking system should be used only for work, not for personal activities.
An important question is do you have the right to use GPS time tracking in a vehicle that is not your property. The answer is “Yes, you can install GPS system in another person’s vehicle, for example the vehicle of your employee, with the permission of the owner of the vehicle.” However, it is not recommended to do so because your employee will use his car not only for work but also for pleasure, and you don’t have the right to monitor him in his free time.
Sometimes when there is a case filed in court, both sides wonder whether the information from the GPS tracking system can be used prove some facts. We cannot give specific answer to this question because it depends on what fact you are trying to prove. With GPS tracking you can prove that the specific vehicle was on a specific place at 5 p.m. However, you cannot prove that the person “X” was the person, driving the vehicle.
If you install a GPS tracking system in a stranger’s car for example in order to track him, this would be illegal because this person has not given you the permission to track him. In fact, he may sue you and will win the case.
Keep in mind that the information given in this article cannot be accepted as professional legal advice. You may consult a lawyer before installing GPS tracking system in your company’s vehicles.