Can I Track My Employees’ Location?
Can Vehicles Be Tracked
Landscaping businesses, pest control operations, and other service-based companies where employees operate company vehicles are always looking at solutions to increase efficiency and accountability. This results in a need for employer tracking employe location technologies whether that be via iPhone, Android, or GPS tracking device. If you own a business and are wondering, “Can I track my employee car”, let our security experts give you some information regarding both GPS tracking laws and the best car GPS trackers for tracking employee location.
How Do Employers Track Employees?
So what is the best way for an employer to secretly track a vehicle requires the use of a real time GPS tracker? First of all, an employer needs to do a little research to find out what types of devices are on the market and which vehicle tracking systems will work best for their needs. If you are not sure what tracker is best for your business then check out this article. Once your company has invested in a GPS tracker the next steps are as follows:
- Place the GPS tracking device on the employee’s car.
- Track employee location using iPhone, Android, or computer.
- Find out how fast an employee is going, where they have been, and more!
The best part about tracking company vehicles is they allow employers to track employees 24/7 as well as have access to historical records on where they have been. In fact, some employee monitoring technologies include video surveillance on top of location tracking! Other advantages of tracking employee cars include the ability to accurately document mileage driven, safeguarding company vehicles from auto-theft, getting speed alerts if employees are driving too fast, improved routing, and more. Clearly, there is an abundance of reasons why employers consider tracking their employees, but can an employee refuse to have a tracker fitted on their company car? Are there laws regarding vehicle tracking employee rights?
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Vehicle Tracking Employee Rights
Can I Refuse To Have A Tracker Fitted To My Company Car?
The Federal and State laws are very inconsistent when it comes to whether or not an employer can place a GPS vehicle tracker on an automobile being operated by an employee. For example, it is widely recognized that as long as the employer owns the vehicle they have the right to use any form of technology to help safeguard that asset. This would be the case with a real-time GPS tracker because the technology can be utilized not only to boost fleet management but also to protect that company vehicle from potential theft. However, let’s look at one state in particular when it comes to vehicle tracking employee rights.
California GPS Tracking Employees
“California Penal Code Section 637.7. That provision states: (a) No person or entity in this state shall use an electronic tracking device to determine the location or movement of a person. (b) This section shall not apply when the registered owner, lessor, or lessee of a vehicle has consented to the use of the electronic tracking device with respect to that vehicle. (c) This section shall not apply to the lawful use of an electronic tracking device by a law enforcement agency. (d) As used in this section, “electronic tracking device” means any device attached to a vehicle or other movable thing that reveals its location or movement by the transmission of electronic signals. (e) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor.”
California Legislative Information
In California, an employer is not allowed to track an employee’s vehicle without their consent. That means the employer must provide written notice to the employee about GPS tracking or surveillance technology to track the employee’s location and the employee must consent for this all to be legal. So it is important for employees worried that their company is tracking them to look over those employee handbooks or employee work agreements. However, this law does not specifically address the situation if the employer owned the vehicle being operated by the employee. So that is something to consider.
Tracking Company Vehicles
Using GPS tracking to monitor a personal vehicle is a different situation when it comes to employee tracking. If the company is not the vehicle owner then the Fourth Amendment states an employer cannot place a GPS device inside that vehicle to track an employee’s whereabouts. However, this is not the case if it is a company-owned vehicle where it is legal to track the automobile for legitimate business reasons.
Businesses should look into local laws, labor laws, and acquire professional legal advice before monitoring employees through GPS or tracking app. This article is not advice on GPS laws or concrete reasonable expectations on if it is legal to track employees.
Sage is a freelance writer with a background in information technology.