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Employee Privacy Away From Work Florida Florida

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  • Employee Privacy Away From Work Florida Florida

    Good evening my HR colleagues. This week, a senior manager suggested the following mandate "All employees must report any legal infraction to their supervisor within 1 work day. The supervisor will then contact HR to discuss disciplinary measures". This includes any infraction, including motor vehicle (parking, speeding, etc) while on personal time and away from the work site. We've always had language of this sort for employees with CDL certs or similar. However, for the general staff who do not have CDLs, this is a first. I am reluctant to support this mandate for the general staff. The employee may be cited for a violation but has the right to contest, and perhaps win, the argument.
    Does anyone have knowledge in this area? My hunch is this is a slippery slope to avoid. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    I hesitate to ask but, what has happened that he would make such a proposal?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      RE: What drives this action

      The only thing that I KNOW about is a recent hire who had a misdemeanor several years ago (he's in his 20s now so I assume this happened between age 18 and, say, 23). His supervisors, however, say he is a good worker. Our applications ask if you have had a felony. Our background checks are, in my opinion, surface reviews.
      In my opinion, the biggest threats an employer faces regarding employee safety are situations involving domestic violence (and even then, its a case where the victim is your employee and their abuser may come to the workplace which means the victim is not going to have a legal infraction) and disgruntled workers, who usually also do not have a legal infraction. Another question: if one instance of action while off the clock is an employer's business, what else will follow suit? Does the employer, by requesting knowledge of "off duty" actions of employees infer an ownership of such time (and on the employees part, a relinquishment of such time)? The employees are very worried about this and I admit that I share their concern. I would appreciate any input.

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      • #4
        How would you enforce it? Someone charged with violating this mandate could simply claim they didn't know.

        I'm less concerned with the crossover between work and time and non-work time as I am what this manager would set as parameters and who would determine what was a violation. This really makes me wonder about the manager.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: law infractions off time

          Originally posted by cbg View Post
          How would you enforce it? Someone charged with violating this mandate could simply claim they didn't know.

          I'm less concerned with the crossover between work and time and non-work time as I am what this manager would set as parameters and who would determine what was a violation. This really makes me wonder about the manager.
          Agreed-and employees have asked about that too. They believe this manager has Control issues (I agree) and fear it's some kind of trap. It will either be used to perpetually keep tabs on employees 24/7 (not normally likely tho with this manager, all things are possible) or will be selectively used to dismiss employees she doesn't like. In my opinion, a distinct possibility as well.

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          • #6
            If you have the power to approve or disapprove this suggestion, I vote for disapprove.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cbg View Post
              If you have the power to approve or disapprove this suggestion, I vote for disapprove.
              I sure wish I did have that power. I would have shot it down immediately. .well, after laughing at such a ludicrous suggestion. Unfortunately, the verbiage was added to the handbook by this 'manager'.....ugh!!!

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              • #8
                I will say that it was amazing what I found out AFTER I terminated an employee in October due to terrible job performance and doing weird things while on the clock. Later I found out from his co-workers (and backed by further research) that he had been arrested within the last few months for assault (hit someone else with a tire iron) and then later on a drug charge. When I do background checks, those two things (assault and drugs) are pretty much the two things that will disqualify you from hire. Had I known about either, he would have been gone. And I do wish the co-workers would have told the manager or HR earlier.

                However, while I would love to have this policy, I don't know how you would possibly enforce it in a non-discriminatory manner and how you would know if you weren't told. I guess it just lets the employer use that as a reason to terminate if they find out something that the employee didn't mention -- regardless if the specific behavior would have lead to termination. I have to agree it isn't a policy I would want to implement, even with my example above.

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                • #9
                  I can't think of anything specifically illegal about this requirement in and of itself (what the manager chooses to do with the information could be a VERY different story). But it is terrible policy. Other than a few serious (but hopefully rare) things like assault or theft, why on Earth would you want to know? I have better things to worry about than if Madge in Accounting got a speeding ticket over the weekend. And I generally stay away from policies that will lend me little or no information that's of any use to me, but sure will tick off my employees. If this manager can't find better things to do with her time than create such policies, I question her managerial competence.

                  I don't usually recommend taking this course of action, but this is a case where if you have the power to go around/over this manager and squash this, I would.

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                  • #10
                    Treading on a Constitutional landmine

                    What right does an employer have to demand private information when it has no bearing on job description? Driving and traffic infractions can be justified. ANY interaction with the law? No.

                    Unless convicted of a crime, the employer has no right under the constitution to act as judge, jury, and executioner with regards to a persons job status.

                    I would propose that the companies legal counsel look over the wording of the mandate. The company is setting itself up for a lawsuit.

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                    • #11
                      It has the right because the law does not specifically say it doesn't-probably because no one with common sense would want this policy, so it hasn't come up. We deal with what the law actually says (or doesn't say) on this board. not what we think is right or wrong about it.

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                      • #12
                        The employer has a right if it has a bearing on the business, not just that persons specific job description. I have an employee leaving early from shifts claiming he is going to court. So far he has stated (1) that he is a witness in a trial for his uncle (2) he is mentoring at risk youths and now (3) there is a case against him but his attorney is telling him not to give any details to anyone. It's gotten to the point of ridiculous and I have asked for this in writing and will respond later today. It does have a bearing because he is missing work and honestly is probably quite distracted while at work (if all these are true). I talked with him at 7:30 am a few weeks ago and asked that since his manager was out on vacation that he work his full shifts that week. You know when he left that day? 22 minutes (and 4 hours early) after I spoke with him. He never mentioned he had to go THAT DAY to court.

                        So yes, things that don't directly impact the employer could definitely have a bearing when they impact job performance. I can see why it would be nice to have a "heads up" that there is a personal issue that is going to need to be dealt with. But again, I wouldn't implement this policy, but would hope my managers could get the information without needing the policy.

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                        • #13
                          Unless the employer is the government, the constitution has zero bearing on any of this. Even if it is the government, based just on what is shared, there isn't anything unconstitutional about it. Arrests and such are public record so anyone *could* find out even if it wasn't disclosed. I can see merit with certain types of offenses. My guess is that the manager wants to avoid playing the "is it serious enough to report" game and just wants all reported. Or, the manager is getting a lot of push back from the drivers that it is unfair they must report and others do not. There are better ways to handle that, but it isn't the worst idea I have ever heard. It may or may not be a good idea, leaning strongly toward not, but it isn't illegal.
                          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ferretrick View Post
                            It has the right because the law does not specifically say it doesn't-probably because no one with common sense would want this policy, so it hasn't come up. We deal with what the law actually says (or doesn't say) on this board. not what we think is right or wrong about it.

                            Invasion of privacy laws have been on the books for more than 100 years.

                            The invasion of privacy tort of false light is upheld in court when the plaintiff can prove that the defendant publicize the plaintiff in such as way that it would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.

                            I stand by my response to run it by the companies legal counsel.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This manager is not trying to publicize the employees' parking pickets and other infractions, thereby highly offending them. This manager simply wants to know about them. (Perhaps with an eye to firing the employees - but that's still not publicizing!)

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