Privacy rights at center stage in employment lawsuit

Where to draw the line.

That is squarely what a California lawsuit brought by a former sales executive of a wire transfer company is all about.

In a nutshell: The ex-worker did not object to the idea of being monitored at work with a tracking device, as long as there was a “legitimate business interest” attached to such surveillance. Her acceptance of such monitoring literally stopped at the front door of her employer’s office, though, and with the company’s demand that she install a 24/7 tracking device on her smartphone.

She complained. The company informed her that the requirement — imposed on all employees — was business related, with its aim being to ensure that clients could have ready access to employees whenever a need arose.

Not good enough, she countered. She removed the tracking application from her phone and was ultimately fired from her position for doing so.

Unsurprisingly, that brought a wrongful termination lawsuit alleging the violation of the plaintiff’s right to privacy and other legal wrongs.

As noted in a media article discussing the employment law litigation, the plaintiff’s claim was predicated on the view stated in her complaint that the round-the-clock ability to monitor her movements was an intrusion that “would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.”

The company’s decision could cost it some serious money. The complaint demands damages in an amount above $500,000. In addition to the privacy violation alleged, the terminated worker’s lawsuit also alleges the company’s circumvention of various state labor laws.


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