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Employees lose their challenge to Verizon’s use of GPS to track them

On July 27, 2011, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over most New England states, including Maine, issued a decision in Haggins v. Verizon New England, Inc. This case involves a challenge to Verizon’s use of cell phones with GPS tracking capability to track its field technicians. The company used GPS, in part, because it did not trust that its employees were always where they were supposed to be. The field technicians, who were represented by a union, claimed that Verizon violated their privacy rights when it tracked them with GPS. The First Circuit dismissed the technicians’ lawsuit under a federal law that prohibits these types of lawsuits in certain circumstances when the employees have a collective bargaining agreement with the employer.

Employees, particularly in the private sector, are often surprised to learn that they have very few privacy rights in the workplace. If you believe that your employer has violated your privacy rights, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer to learn more about your rights.