Can my employer surveil me in public and ask sexually explicit questions about my personal life?

Can my employer follow me after business hours and take pictures on his phone of a car parked in my apartment complex and ask about my personal life (sexually explicit questions) with another subordinate?

Posted 11-10-2015

Rita Risser replies:

Yes and no. It is generally not considered an illegal invasion of privacy to follow someone or take pictures of them on public streets or in areas that can be seen from public streets. Even if he went onto the private property of the apartment complex, if guests come and go on that property, it probably would not be considered an invasion of privacy. On the other hand, it may well be invasion of privacy and possibly sexual harassment to ask you sexually explicit questions.

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Rita M. Risser Chai is the founder of Fair Measures. An attorney in California for 20 years and now an attorney in Hawaii, she authored the Prentice Hall book, Stay Out of Court! The Manager’s Guide to Preventing Employee Lawsuits. She developed most of the curriculum used by Fair Measures, created the firm’s first website praised in HR Magazine, and wrote numerous articles on employment law including one on best practice harassment prevention training published in the magazine of the American Society for Training and Development (now ATD). She taught Law and Human Resources at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for eight years, and has presented four times at the annual conventions of the Hawaii Society of Human Resource Management.