Is it legal to survey an employee off premises

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Is it legal to survey an employee off premises

Our boss had an employee followed
during a lunch break and took pictures
is that legal. The pictures were
captured off premises without the
employees consent

Asked on August 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

While unusual, conducting surveillance on an employee during their off duty hours is not illegal, unless of course it devolves into a stalking situation. The fact is that an employer has the legal right to know how a worker is conducting themselves off the work premises, even it is on the employee's time off.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is unusual, and it is quite frankly inappropriate, but it is legal: any person can be photographed in a public area (e.g. a street; a restaurant; a bar; a store; etc.), and an employer has the right to have employees followed to determine what they are doing when not at work, the same way as any person (e.g. a spouse who believes he/she was being cheated on) can have a person followed if they want.


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