Is it legal for my employer to search my desk on my day off?

On my day off a marijuana roach was found in my desk. Upon returning to work the next day I was called into the HR department and sent for drug screening. I tested positive for marijuana.

Asked on October 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The fact of the matter is that a person has fewer privacy rights at work than they do in their personal life. Employers can usually search an employee's workspace, which includes the inside of their desk. This is because technically the workspace belongs to the employer so courts have found that employees do not have an expectation of privacy in these areas. That having been said, some states may have laws concerning searches at work and union/employment agreements may have included terms about such searches. According, an employee should always check on the laws in their state and the terms of any contracts that they may have.


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