Is it against your rights for employer to check up on you at home?

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Is it against your rights for employer to check up on you at home?

My car had a flat tire. I work early in the morning (4 am), so I took my wife’s car to work and advised my supervisor that I would be working a half day since my wife needed her car to get to work. I would get my car repaired. My employer did a drive by at my home. My car has run flat tires on it and they do not look flat like a conventional tire, so my employer claims that I lied about why I took a few hours off work. I have the invoice for the repair on my car but have not shown it to them because I feel they may have violated my rights and acted unethically.

Asked on April 3, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

While unusual, this action is legal. The fact is that your supervisor did not get out of their car and come onto your property and look into your garage; everything they observed was visible from a public street. The fact is that most employment is what is known as "at will". This means that a company can set the terms of the workplace much as it sees fit. This can even include checking up on an employee's excuse for leaving work early. The only exceptions would be if this action violated company policy or the terms of any applicable employment contract or union agreement. Also, your treatment must not have constituted some form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not appear to have).


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