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How far can A employer go when searching you??

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by bug, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. bug


    Feb 6, 2007
    New policy where I work:

    It says they reserve the right to search lockers,bags(if on company property that's fine I understand this rule I don't like it but whatever) but here is the part where I start to have a real problem they say they can search you. and open and search your vehicle.

    A little background I am in Ohio and I work at a place that supplies roofing both commercial/residential so honestly there really is nothing to steal that would not be really obvious.

    So I am at a loss as to the new policy and wounder what and where they can cross the line?
    If they search my car without my permission while I am out on a delivery do I have recourse?
    I have nothing to hide but I also don't like nosy *******s and this just smells like nosy ******* kind of thing.

    I would not sign off on this policy so who know what they will do. just looking for opinions as I may soon be looking for a job.
  2. IGotIt

    IGotIt No Demlibtards

    Aug 20, 2011
    On The Edge
    I believe that if they (or an assigned agent like security) intend on LOOKING through your car, you should be there while they are doing it, and it should be a visual only in the seating area and trunk. I would say they could move blankets or covers to see if anything was hidden under them.

    As far as searching you, they (or an assigned agent like security) can ask you to open your coat or outer garment as do a visual. No touching.

    I worked at a sports distribution center where we had to open our coats, lunch bags, etc upon leaving the building. our cars were subject to visuals if they had reasonable grounds to believe you were secreting items.

    They did catch one lady who used to wear oversize clothes. She was stuffing Levi and Wrangler jeans, and other brand name clothing into the loose clothing and walking out. When they caught her, police were called and a search warrant was executed at her house. She had in excess of $10k worth of stolen property from the distribution center.

    I really don't know how much roofing material you could walk away with though.

  3. jtull7

    jtull7 Pistolero CLM

    Jan 27, 2006
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    What a Nazi POS employer you work for.
  4. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

    Apr 4, 2006

    I worked for one of the largest Military Hardware companies in the US. They could/and did, routinely search carry items and packages. They could not touch your person. They would involve police or Federal officers for person searches.

    I would not permit my vehicle to be searched without my being present. "planting" is a possibility.

    However; The Feds caught an employee turning over a SMB to a plain clothes officer, in the parking lot.
  5. bug


    Feb 6, 2007
    I do understand the look in the bag thing and open your coat when leaving work, or in the case of sporting or other events entering.
    However I find it hard to believe that they think I am going to sneak a 85lbs bundle of landmark 30 out under my coat.
  6. jdh31313


    Dec 31, 2006
    S.E. Georgia
    They will go as far as you will let them. Employer searches tend to be consent searches. If you refuse to consent to search or withdraw consent during a search your job could be potentially in jeopardy. Usually an employer has a written policy in place which covers this subject.
  7. As a private entity, your employer is not bound by the 4th A.

    Don't know if your state laws have any privacy/search protection extending to employment.

    If your employer gives sufficient advance notice of what they intend to do (when, where, how), your options are to comply or leave.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  8. Then I'm curious what triggered this whole new search policy.
  9. bug


    Feb 6, 2007
    They just came out with a whole new handbook a while back and we are going from a more family owned kind of thing to a more corporate approach.
    that's my guess

    One of the other policy's I would not sign off on was that equipment we are given to use Is our responsibility to replace if lost,stolen,or broken.

    But we are not allowed to have locks on our lockers to keep it in and we can not take it home or lock it in our vehicles. :dunno:
    so how how am I supposed to keep the materials safe when i am not around?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  10. PuroMexicano

    PuroMexicano VIVA MEXICO !!!

    Jan 28, 2004
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Have tools been missing recently?
    Maybe is a policy against theft.
    You need to speak to your boss about your concerns about privacy but also understand what triggered this policy.
  11. bug


    Feb 6, 2007
    No everyone here is honest to a fault and only time anything has been taken that I am aware of we had a crackhead temp they called in that made off with a pocket full of copper nails
    All the tools are kept up front you would have to walk past 3-5 people and they would all wonder why you were getting it.
  12. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    Check with your state labor board. Yes, you do have rights as an employee, but they are limited, as it is the employer's property that is being protected. Other than that find a new employer. Best of luck in finding one, as I understand jobs are harder to come by now a days, and I your employer realizes that as well. If it is feasible to park your car off the property, or walk to work, take a bus, you may want to consider doing that. Check with a labor attorney concerning what rights you, and your fellow employees have. Keep in mind that if you push enough that your employer can always find a reason to get rid of you. If your fellow employees want to form up a group you would have some strength in numbers, but unless you are planning on unionizing you may want to be careful in that type of activity. Even if you had plans on forming a union shop you would still have to be careful, because the employer has quite a number of rights available to exercise.
  13. DustyJacket

    DustyJacket Directiv 10-289

    Oct 16, 2008
    Missouri, East of KC
    My employer also has a search everything policy, but I am not aware that they have ever exercised it.

    We did have an employe gang war in the parking lot at the office in Denver they shut down before moving me here.

    And he handle some sensitive information and documents, to include checks, so they are quite paranoid. Perhaps for a reason.
  14. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

    Jan 2, 2008
    Lost Coast, Cali
    Private employers in Ohio hold pretty much all the cards. It's perfectly legal to terminate an employee for any reason, so long as they don't cross into gender / racial / sexual orientation / age / similar discrimination.

    Ergo, they can implement whatever policy they want and if you refuse to comply with it - let's say by refusing to allow them to check your pockets as you are leaving - you can be fired and you would have no recourse.

    If you work in a union shop or are a public sector employee you may have better protections. Private entities in Ohio, though, have become aces at hiding behind the "at will" employment bull****.
  15. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    I decided to rant a bit on this, since I felt like it, and I get sick and tired of hearing from entitlement minded people thinking that the employer; the state; the country; the world, owes them a fricking handout.

    Just as a matter of perspective. If a business owner elects to hire employees, it is at the discretion of a business owner in any state, or territory. It is the business owner's property, land, buildings, and anything within it that was bought on the business owner's property belongs to the business owner. In today's economy if you have a job you should be thankful to have the job, and if you believe you are worth more then it is up to you the laborer to find something better for yourself. I find it interesting the attitude of employees now a days. If you go to work for a non union shop you should expect to have to suffer the conditions that go with that, regardless of the conditions, as long as they do not go into criminal liability. If you don't like how the employer treats you, in the case of working for a private business, go elsewhere, for that matter do something different entirely.

    Working for someone is something I have done since I have been of age. I grew up in a working class neighborhood, with people working for the employer, be it a union shop or a small business. Some people in the neighborhood had their own small business, but we would all have been considered working class. In the case of my father, while his company still had a place for him to go to work at, he was a union employee. My grandfather whom I did know was a rail road man, working in a union covered position, and owned a business on the side. But, the fact of the matter is that business fails or slows down and a person has to adjust to it. Basically that person adjusts by putting up with stuff he would not ordinarily put up with, such as certain employee conditions, moving to where the job is and so on.

    Rant off.
  16. bug


    Feb 6, 2007
    I thank everyone for all the info and opinion on the subject.
    While I do absolutely understand its there property and the 4a has very little to do with what goes on there.

    I will stop them when they think it's ok to open my personal property (my car)
    When I am not around and begin searching it!

    I am 100% ok with finding a new job if that's the way it has to be.
    But people need (employers included) need to know that they are not allowed to walk in you because the economy is bad.

    So far nothing has came of the policy so it may have been much talk about nothing.
    I was in a union for years and they have some good points and some bad ones as well.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  17. Oso


    Dec 27, 2010
    Sturgis Michigan
    Most companies have rules like this for legal reasons. Most don't ever actually do searches unless they are beyond a doubt sure you are in violation. Good employers don't want to alienate their good workers. It's just bad business for them.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  18. car541

    car541 Patrol Hairbag

    Aug 20, 2004
    You always can refuse your consent to a search of your car or person

    They then have the right to refuse their consent to allow you to keep working there. Make your decision, then live with the consequences. If you want to make your own workplace rules, start your own business. it is really that simple.

    As far as the locker goes, it is theirs. Once you are fired, they aren't going to leave it closed forever.
  19. I worked at a large armored money depository for 10 + years and while there were signs stating they reserve the right to search employees , they never searched
    me and I never observed anyone else being searched upon leaving for the day. I think they kept that ace card in the event they had real evidence or suspicions.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  20. In the 1980s, when I first started working, I was newly hired at a engineering company. Naturally, draftsmen, estimators, etc... got hired or laid off depending on whether the company got a contract(s) or not. I understand that. But after a few months, I realized there was a core of employees who had been there for years. I then learned the boss was an avid bridge (the card game) player, and that that core of employees played bridge with him everyday during lunch.

    Hey, it the boss's company. I have no patience for any card games. A lesson well learned.

    So, I'm somewhat ambivalent about unions, but union provide a collective voice and their members are not each floundering on his/her own.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011