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Waks Publishes Article on Workplace Geopositional Tracking

Fall 2008

Jay Waks, Chair of the Employment & Labor Group and Litigation Partner, has authored an article on geopositional tracking of employees that has been published in the Fall 2008 Newsletter of The College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. Mr. Waks' article, titled "Geopositional Tracking of Work Makes Sense, and Non-Work, Outside, Lawful Activities Generally Are of Little Interest to Employers,” is a response to a paper that criticized workplace uses of Global Positioning System and Radio-Frequency ID devices and urged new statutory controls. In concluding his article, Mr. Waks posits that "we all take advantage of the very electronic devices and opportunities that make privacy illusory .... Indeed, we often feel naked without them; yet we become just as naked in using them." After reviewing state statutes that protect off-duty conduct, Mr. Waks explains that "employers today are interested in productivity," much more so than "the private, off-duty, off-premises, non-work related lives of employees. [It] may be right that some employees may not be protected against the off chance of some nefarious off-duty use of GPS and RFID devices. This is not, however, because of a dearth of laws requiring notice or limiting non-work related, off-duty and off-premises tracking. Lawful, non-work related activities outside the workplace are protected, in some cases by law but in most cases by common sense and employer disinterest."

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Jay W. Waks
Retired Partner
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Download: Article (pdf 75514 bytes)