Redondo Beach Employee Privacy & Rights Lawyer
Privacy is one of the essential human rights guaranteed by the California Constitution. This includes certain privacy rights in the workplace. Employers can only go so far when it comes to intruding on the personal affairs of their works or probing into their non-work-related matters.
Yet many employers still manage to cross the line, in some cases without fully realizing it. If your employer has gone too far and you need legal assistance, a qualified Redondo Beach employee privacy & rights Lawyer can help. At the Obagi Law Group, P.C., our employment law team can review your situation and advise you of your options, including the possibility of suing your employer for violating your privacy rights while in the workplace.
What Are Your Privacy Rights at Work?
Privacy rights encompass a number of different areas of the law. Some of the more common privacy-related issues we advise clients on include:
- Background checks – In general, employers are allowed to conduct a background check of a prospective employee. But under California law, a private employer with at least 5 workers cannot make any inquiries about a job candidate’s past criminal convictions unless and until there is a conditional job offer.
- Email and social media use – An employer can generally access any communications made using company-owned property, including cell phones and electronic mail systems. An employer can also monitor an employee’s personal social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, but it cannot demand an employee disclose their username or password or require the employee to access their accounts in the employer’s presence.
- Video surveillance – An employer can use video surveillance to monitor a workplace for security purposes, provided that the employees are informed before they are recorded. But an employer cannot use surveillance for any non-security purposes, such as spying on workers who may be engaged in union organizing. Nor can an employer use cameras in any restroom, locker room, or other area designated for an employee to change clothes.
- Eavesdropping – California is a two-party consent state when it comes to audio recordings. This means that an employer cannot “secretly” record any audio conversations involving an employee without that employee’s consent. Indeed, an employer who engages in such “eavesdropping” could face potential criminal charges.
- Drug testing – Employers are allowed to request a drug test for new hires as a condition of employment. But an employer cannot require random drug tests of existing employees, unless they work in a “safety-sensitive” area. An employer may also request a drug test if there is evidence that a specific employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the job.
- Personal relationships – In general, California law permits an employer to forbid romantic relationships between supervisors and employees as a means of preventing possible sexual harassment. But an employer is on shakier legal ground if they try to prevent other romantic relationships between co-workers.
Contact the Obagi Law Group Today
Privacy rights are a complicated area of law that often involve a lot of rules and exceptions. So if you do have questions or concerns about whether your employer has violated your rights, it is best to speak with a competent Redondo Beach employee privacy lawyer. Contact the Obagi Law Group, P.C., today to schedule a free initial consultation.