Can an employer add a new policy wherein an employeewill have to have their belongings and clothes searched beforethey walk out of the door?

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Can an employer add a new policy wherein an employeewill have to have their belongings and clothes searched beforethey walk out of the door?

I was handed a slip of paper after I came back from my lunch break. It stated that my purse and any pockets that I have will have to be searched by the receptionist before we go to lunch or take out the trash or leave for the day. Is this legal?

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. A company can require searches of employees as a condition of employment; employees who do not wish to allow this have the option of quitting/resigning. The exception would be if the employee is being discriminated against or harassed due to a protected category or characteristic, such as his or her race, religion, age over 40, disability, or sex; if that is the case, the search may constitute illegal employment discrimination, and the employee may have grounds for legal action.


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