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By Louise Herman

While many people form close bonds with their coworkers, it’s common to want to keep your personal life separate from your professional life. As such, you may keep certain aspects of your life shielded. However, if your employer uncovers this information, you may not know whether or not this is legal. If you believe your privacy rights were violated at work, a Providence County, Rhode Island employment lawyer can help you navigate your legal options. The following blog can help you learn what rights you have in the workplace and what to do if your employer violates these rules.

What Privacy Rights Do I Have While on the Job?

It’s essential to understand that, generally, you do not have an expectation of privacy, especially if you are working for a private entity. However, this does not mean you have no rights while at work. In most instances, this applies to the use of company technology like computers and work-issued phones. Even if you are working from your home, your employer can still monitor the activity on your devices.

In Rhode Island, you have some rights to privacy in terms of your personal life. For example, your employer cannot ask you to take a polygraph or “lie detector” test, require genetic testing, monitor your personal tax information, or force you to quit smoking if you do so off the clock.

It is essential to understand that there are gray areas that vary depending on the line of work you are in. For example, private employers cannot require you to live in a specific town, while some public positions may. Similarly, private entities can require employees to submit drug tests, though they must do so within reason and follow the regulations surrounding this action. However, if your employer deceives you by asking you to get a physical for work without informing you the urine sample you provided would be used for drug testing, this constitutes an invasion of privacy.

What Should I Do if My Employer Violates My Right to Privacy?

If your employer has invaded your privacy, you may wish to take legal action. As such, you should collect as much information about the event as possible, including statements from other employees and the handbook or other communicated written policies.

While an invasion of privacy is not grounds to file a lawsuit in and of itself, you may be able to prove that your employer discriminated against you or broke a contract you signed.

When your privacy is invaded at work, you have a right to hold your employer responsible for the violation. At the Herman Law Group, our dedicated team can help you through these complex issues. We believe you have a right to keep your personal life separate and will do everything possible to help you protect this right. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you through this time.

About the Author
At Herman Law Group, our focus is on safeguarding the rights and careers of employees and businesses alike. With over 35 years of successful legal practice, Louise A. Herman brings an invaluable dual perspective from representing both employees and employers. This unique insight allows us to effectively achieve successful outcomes for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and nationwide.