24/7 monitoring on company cellphone prompts lawsuit — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

24/7 monitoring on company cellphone prompts lawsuit

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

A California sales executive is suing her employer after she was fired for disabling an app on her company-provided iPhone that tracked her whereabouts even during nonwork hours.

In court documents, Myrna Arias said she complained to her boss about after-hours monitoring enabled by an app called Xora, which uses GPS technology to record where an iPhone is located, how fast it is moving and how long it remains stationary.

Arias’ employer, money-transfer service Intermex, uses the app to keep tabs on what its salespeople are doing during the workday.

Arias’ supervisor confirmed that the company used the app to track her activities at night and on weekends. Her lawsuit alleges that when Arias confronted her boss, he “admitted that employees would be monitored while off duty and bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since” the app was installed on the phone.

Following that conversation, Arias uninstalled the app. That’s when she was fired.

Her $500,000 lawsuit alleges retaliation and invasion of privacy. It compares use of the Xora app to requiring employees to wear a “prisoner’s ankle bracelet.”

Advice: Privacy rights vary depending on state and local laws. While you may have a good business reason to monitor employees during the day, be sure they can turn off tracking during nonworking hours.

Before implementing a tracking system, check with your attorney.

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