Can we use GPS cell phones to track employees without telling them? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Can we use GPS cell phones to track employees without telling them?

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Q. Our employees have company-issued cell phones with global positioning systems capabilities. Can we use the GPS to track employees’ movements without telling them we are doing so?

A. Surreptitious tracking is not recommended. Private employers are increasingly implementing location-tracking devices—based on GPS and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology—to manage their workforces.

GPS and RFID devices, for example, can help insurance companies confirm that claims adjusters who may never come into the home office are, in fact, adjusting. They help delivery companies identify the most efficient routes for their drivers. They allow hospitals to track down nurses in an emergency.

The case law on this issue is developing. To reduce the risk of such a claim and to maintain good employee relations, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Avoid surreptitious location tracking.
  2. Give employees detailed, written notice of your location-tracking policies and practices.
  3. Have employees acknowledge receipt of the notice.
  4. Avoid 24/7 location tracking.
  5. Limit tracking, when technically feasible, to business hours or when the employee is on the clock.

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