GPS Tracking Device Guide – What’s Legal When Monitoring Your Employees

In states like the following: Minnesota, Virginia, as well as Tennessee, tracking employees with GPS is illegal and is considered ruining employee’s privacy.

Is it legal to track employees with gps tracking device

To continue with, tracking a vehicle or a human, follows penal code in California.

However, in any other USA state, employers can track their employees even if they declare their basic rights to privacy.

Regarding their privacy, the court will make a decision based on two factors:

  • Employee’s consent on being tracked
  • Whether the GPS tracking device belongs to the company
monitoring employees with gps tracking device - is it legal?

With regards to GPS vehicle tracking, it is still hard to tell how widespread it is in the USA. This is due to the fact because businesses do not always have to notify their employees they are being tracked.

A study on employee monitoring showed that a 3rd of employees said their employers are tracking them with GPS tracking device.

On the other hand, 22% of employees said they were not informed they were being tracked.

gps tracking device to monitor employees

in addition, a GPS tracking device is able to track employees location at any time.

This includes the movements, the idling time and so on.

Although GPS tracking is considered legal in states, the number of employees who object to this remains unknown.

What are the Best Practices for Tracking?

Companies are using fleet tracking devices for many reasons, efficiency increase, safety, or obeying traffic laws.

If a business owner wants to install the best GPS, the first thing to do is to consider obeying the following practices:

  • Use GPS in company-owned vehicles or devices
  • Make sure you have a written GPS tracking policy
  • Monitor employees by business need only
practices for gps tracking device

According to a case law, tracking employees is permissible when using company-owned GPS tracking device, and when the employee is notified.

Notifying employees about GPS tracking is a must for business in order to avoid employees feeling that they are violating their privacy.

However, employees have the right to ask the employers to be tracked only for business and work needs.

use the best practices for gps tracking device

This will definitely outline the reason for using GPS tracking device so that they are familiar with the process and time intervals of tracking.

More importantly, an employer needs to notify employees of the consequences of disabling the GPS tracking device.

What to Do to Legally Monitor Employees?

in order to take this, I must say big step of monitoring your employees with GPS tracking, as a company owner you need to communicate with the employees.

For instance, before you hire an employee, communicate the policy with them. Moreover, acknowledge them to understand the policy.

In this way, not only they will be responsible and considerate employees, but they will also start respecting this approach.

what to do to legally monitor employees with gps tracking device

To continue with, you can only monitor the active working hours of employees, as well as their location. In this way, you will comply with the GPS tracking policy.

It is also important to store the GPS tracking data safely because information is easily accessible nowadays.

Furthermore, you need to explain to your employees that GPS tracking is not violating any law or their trust. Moreover, you need to encourage yourself first to take this step, and then your employees.

Monitoring Vehicles for Safety Increase

Regarding the safety, an employer is obliged to know and use the GPS tracking device state laws.

To put it in a different way, there is an example of Illinois statute in 2014, considering employee monitoring a crime.

In addition, a vehicle should not be tracked without the vehicle’s owner consent unless it is lawfully done by a law enforcement agency.

monitoring vehicles with gps tracking device for safety

According to the law, employers do not violate the law by tracking a vehicle the company owns.

Other states like California, Connecticut, Delaware and Texas laws also apply to GPS tracking device use.

Continually, there are state law violations regarding tracking. For instance, if an employer does not notify employees of monitoring, then it will respond to invasion of privacy.

monitoring employees for safety reasons with gps tracking device

In addition to the above-mentioned, there are courts indicating rules on a vehicle’s privacy.

For instance, an employee does not have rights to privacy invasion if an employer uses GPS tracking device on a vehicle the business owns.

Another law which allows employers to install a GPS tracking device to their business vehicles is by the Illinois statute.

However, despite the employer’s right to monitor company vehicles, he is obliged to inform employees on this.

Employee Monitoring with GPS Tracking Device

Example of Employee Monitoring with GPS Tracking Device

According to a state’s law, you cannot use a GPS tracking device if the employee owns the vehicle.

moreover, according to a New York state court, this is unreasonable because it means falsifying the time records.

According to the laws, you need to be very careful what vehicles you monitor and whether you monitor them during business hours.



Monitoring employees during business hours with gps tracking device

Monitoring employees during business hours only is law obligatory, otherwise, every action is unconstitutional.

On the other hand, there are the taxi drivers who do not consider GPS tracking as a privacy violation.

This is an example of New York City taxi drivers having GPS tracker for cars even though they own the vehicles.

In the end, a law exists to obey it, and regarding the employee’s privacy, it is probably a matter of their owns claims. In each case, you need to be very careful as a company owner.

Tracking Employees Locations and Activity

There are companies that actually need to implement GPS tracking device. For instance, how an employer know whether the employee respects the FMCSA or SAFER rules?

An employer is never aware of the driver’s behavior unless he is able to track it. This is important in order to increase the safety of drivers and the vehicles as well.



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