GPS tracking technology has evolved rapidly over the years, becoming more affordable and accessible than ever before. In many fleet industries, it’s now commonplace to implement GPS tracking initiatives to streamline daily operations, improve driver accountability, and boost the bottom line. But with the advent of GPS-enabled smart phone tracking solutions, this mainstream solution has sparked some concerns about employee privacy. As a fleet manager, you could have questions about the legalities involved in tracking fleet employees with GPS technology. The answers might surprise you…
Currently, “there is no federal statute that directly regulates the use of GPS monitoring for private employees” (Moore & Pack, 2012). Simply put, the courts deem GPS tracking technology an acceptable surveillance tool.
The rationale goes like this:
“Workplace surveillance is completely legal and common. If the workplace is in the car or other location, shouldn’t bosses have a way to keep tabs on their employees from afar?” (Gomez)
Only Delaware, California, Connecticut, and Texas have adopted laws aimed directly at regulating the use of electronic tracking, with specifications for individual consent. This is because tracking employees without consent can be deemed a privacy violation, leading to workplace protest and, in the worst cases, lawsuits. So what does this mean for fleet organizations?
Without statutory guidance, fleet managers are advised to consider these best practices to ensure their GPS monitoring strategy balances the driver’s privacy rights with the manager’s right to know what happens on the road
1. Track company vehicles and employees during work hours only.
Whether monitoring a GPS-enabled company-owned cellular device, or a commercial company-owned vehicle, it is only reasonable to track employees while they’re on the job. Fleet managers must draw the line between work and personal time, and stick to it. Even if employees take GPS equipped company gear home with them, it does not give employers the right to closely monitor their whereabouts after hours.
2. Track with a purpose.
GPS tracking technology provides fleet companies with the control to make big changes in productivity, fuel savings, driver accountability, and more. Before investing in GPS tracking technology, fleet managers should consider what they intend to change or improve with the solution. Without a legitimate business reason for tracking drivers with GPS technology, fleet managers put themselves at risk for employee backfire.
3. Establish a GPS tracking policy.
Create a concise document that clearly explains your company’s goals for using GPS tracking technology, and how it will affect employees. Include this policy in employee contracts, and keep everyone notified of any changes to the policy. Use the policy to highlight the benefits your employees will gain from GPS tracking, such as improved road safety and fuel savings incentives. Click here to learn more about getting your employees on board with GPS tracking.
By following these best practices, fleet managers across the country and continent can maximize employee tracking without threatening any judicial determinations of privacy expectations in the workplace. With an informed strategy and an affordable GPS tracking system from GPS Commander, you can finally take control of your fleet’s success.
Motivate change for your fleet today. Click here for an instant quote for your GPS-driven employee tracking solution!
Gomez, Cynthia. “Rules For The GPS Tracking Of Employees.” Smallbusiness.chron.com
Moore, Brian J. and Ashley Pack. “GPS Tracking of Employees: Balancing Employees’ Rights to Privacy with Employer’s Right to Know.” 2012. Dinsmore.com