Can my employer search my body and seize my lunch bag when I come to work?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my employer search my body and seize my lunch bag when I come to work?

When I arrive at work in the morning and come through to entrance of the building, my employer wants to electronically scan my body and look in my lunch bag, he also wants me to undress. Is this unreasonable search and seizure and a violation of the fourth amendment?

Asked on September 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Such a body scan and check of your lunchbox is perfectly permissable unless specifically prohibited under the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. Also, it must not constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination (i.e. be due to your gender, etc.). The fact is that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This is known as "at will" employment. For your part, you can either compy with company policy, complain but risk termination, or quit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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