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Ellen
Ellen, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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I have another question in regards XXXXX XXXXX situation that we

Customer Question

I have another question in regards XXXXX XXXXX situation that we have discussed
previously. My employer attached a GPS device to my company vehicle without my knowledge. This vehicle is used for personal use per my contract and I pay once a year on my paychecks for "a leased vehicle"; therefore, I pay taxes on this vehicle because it is added into my yearly pay (approximately $2500-3000) and I have to submit to the company my total mileage for the year, company & personal use. Legally, can a company do this without your knowledge? Again I live in the state of Texas.

Thank you, Jason
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 4 years ago.
*Nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information to better help yourself.*

Welcome back, please give me one moment to review our prior conversation
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok, just let me know if you need more information from me.
Thanks jason
Expert:  Ellen replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your patience Jason while I reviewed the last conversation.

The 2012 Supreme Court case of United States v. Jones held that attaching GPS device to a vehicle and then using the device to monitor the vehicle’s movements constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment.

In the Supreme Court case, the employee was a public employee whereas you are a private employee. Additionally Texas has not enacted a law that prohibits a private employer from tracking an employee’s personal vehicle.

What does this all mean to you? It means that as a private employee terminated based on location information you may file a suit based upon invasion of privacy.

If you have not yet received your tools, you may want to retain local counsel and file suit against your employer for conversion as previously discussed as well as invasion of privacy. If you prevail you may be entitled to actual and punitive damages.


I think this is what you wanted to know. Please let me know if I have answered your question or whether you would like further information.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Does it matter if my employer is based out of Oklahoma (corporate offices) & they drove down from Oklahoma do place the GPS device on the vehicle? So, even though the vehicle is also used for my personal/private use, they are allowed to monitor those movements over the weekend on my private time? I can understand the monitoring of the vehicle during business hours. I would think that during my personal, off duty time they would have to make me aware of this. Also, is there no laws regarding state to state on this matter? If corporate & my manages are all based in Oklahoma & I work for the corporate offices there, do they have any obligation to Oklahoma laws? Although I don't know if the law is any different in Oklahoma regarding this matter.

Additionally, do you think this is a case that would be worth my time and money looking into? The managers refused to return my tools until I produced a receipt & I went to the police station but the wouldn't get involved because its a civil matter. However, a current employee of mine contacted me & wants to personally give me my stuff back because he knows that all of the items gathered on a table are mine. I haven't met him to do this yet. I have my appeal hearing for my denied unemployment in the morning and the evidence they submitted are the GPS coordinates of my whereabouts the week prior to my termination. If you have anymore insight to this, I would appreciate it!

Thank you again, Jason
Expert:  Ellen replied 4 years ago.
Hi Jason,

Question - Does it matter if my employer is based out of Oklahoma (corporate offices) & they drove down from Oklahoma do place the GPS device on the vehicle? So, even though the vehicle is also used for my personal/private use, they are allowed to monitor those movements over the weekend on my private time? I can understand the monitoring of the vehicle during business hours. I would think that during my personal, off duty time they would have to make me aware of this. Also, is there no laws regarding state to state on this matter?

If corporate & my manages are all based in Oklahoma & I work for the corporate offices there, do they have any obligation to Oklahoma laws? Although I don't know if the law is any different in Oklahoma regarding this matter.

Answer – California is the only state that specifically prohibits the GPS monitoring without consent. However this does not mean that it is permissible to monitor an employee in Oklahoma or in Texas and I apologize if I gave you the impression that it was permissible. Your employer has violated your right to privacy and therefore you may bring an invasion of privacy action against your employer


Question – Additionally, do you think this is a case that would be worth my time and money looking into? The managers refused to return my tools until I produced a receipt & I went to the police station but the wouldn't get involved because its a civil matter. However, a current employee of mine contacted me & wants to personally give me my stuff back because he knows that all of the items gathered on a table are mine. I haven't met him to do this yet. I have my appeal hearing for my denied unemployment in the morning and the evidence they submitted are the GPS coordinates of my whereabouts the week prior to my termination. If you have anymore insight to this, I would appreciate it!

Answer – I do think that you should retain local counsel and pursue this matter. You have several causes of action that we have discussed– conversion, invasion of privacy, defamation. At the very least, I suggest that you meet with local counsel to review this matter

Please let me know if you have further questions

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