Home Forums Answer for Can Employer Search Employee Lockers, Handbags, Personal Possessions?

vickyp
Keymaster
Post count: 2894

Employers are NOT allowed to conduct random or general searches of lockers, bags, etc. on general or unreasonable suspicion of drugs or alcohol.
But searches MAY BE OK if:
*The suspicion is substantial and reasonable, i.e., supported by specific evidence involving one or more specific individuals–“my employees are all a bunch of drunkards” won’t fly
*There are no less privacy intrusive ways to check your suspicion and searching is the only realistic method
*The actual search is carried out reasonably and no more broadly than necessary to confirm the suspicion, e.g., you can’t search everybody in the department because you suspect one employee who works there
*There’s a contractual basis for the search such as a term in the employment contract expressly reserving your right to conduct searches for drugs, alcohol, etc. for safety and security and indicating the employee’s acknowledgement of such right and that such a search, if it happens, wouldn’t go against his/her reasonable expectations of privacy
* You notify the employee of the search and its results as soon as possible after you conduct it
Hope that helps. Glenn

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