If you’re an employer whose employees travel around to provide services in various locations, then you may have software for keeping track of employees’ travel times and expenses. A lawsuit recently filed in California raises the question of how far employers can go in tracking their employees’ whereabouts.
The case centers on a company’s use of the business app Xora, which lets managers monitor the location of employees via GPS. According to Xora’s website, the app allows employers to “see the location of every mobile worker on a Google Map.”
Intermex, a Miami-based wire transfer business, has been sued by one of its former sales executives for allegedly firing her after she deleted the tracking app from her phone. She claims that Intermex invaded her privacy by monitoring her whereabouts when she was off the clock.
Part of the sales executive’s job was to travel around Central California to convince business owners to install Intermex’s wire transfer machines. Her lawsuit claims that Intermex instructed employees to download the tracking software onto their company phones and to keep the phones on at all times. According to the suit, a company supervisor said that at any time “he knew how fast she was driving.”
The plaintiff and another employee reportedly complained and deleted the software, and their employment was terminated a few weeks later. Only one of the employees is suing, however, with claims of unfair business practices, wrongful termination and invasion of privacy. The suit seeks $500,000 in lost wages.
Often employment-related disputes can be avoided with carefully drafted employment contracts and business policies. If you have questions about any of these matters, then speak with an experienced business law attorney.