If my employer doesn’t allow cell phones, can they demand to look in my car to ensure that I don’t have it on me?

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If my employer doesn’t allow cell phones, can they demand to look in my car to ensure that I don’t have it on me?

My employer is adamant about not having cell phones on our person when on company time. However, recently they’ve initiated a new policy stating that if you indicate the phone is in your car but they have reason to believe it is on your person, they will demand to go to your car and you show proof that the phone is in the car. Legally speaking, do I have to prove that it is in my car?

Asked on September 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Most employment relationships are "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes just how it enfroces a no-cell phone policy. Accordingly, unless this action violates an exisiting union agreement/employment contract or constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not appear to), it is legal. For your part, you can either comply with your employer's policy, complain/refuse and risk termination, or quit.


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