GPS tracking can be a safe and effective way to monitor fleet driver behavior and ensure overall safety. But how much can companies track employees before it becomes unreasonable? Since some companies began monitoring and penalizing employees for their behavior outside of work, privacy concerns and legal battles have arisen. Fortunately, taking a responsible, transparent approach to GPS tracking can alleviate privacy concerns for employees, while ensuring a safe environment for everyone on the road.
BUT! Before Talking Your Fleet Driver About GPS Tracking
Learn Your State’s Laws
Over the past several years, employees have been brought to trial for suspected illegal behavior on the job. With companies using GPS devices on business vehicles, cell phones, and laptops, evidence is carefully scrutinized in court. Since these disputes have emerged, some states have adopted new laws requiring telematics devices for commercial fleets. States that haven’t may still have privacy laws that relate to your business and employees. Thus it is important to know federal and state laws before implementing any specific policies, and know how they can affect your business.
Communicate the Shift
Make sure your fleet drivers are thoroughly educated on your GPS policy. If you’ve yet to begin using GPS tracking, ensure that your employees are clear on the start date of your new policy. Educate your employees about the benefits of GPS tracking and obtain consent beforehand. Listen and respond to any questions raised and provide your drivers with the proper paperwork that explains their rights and your rights in relation to the vehicles. By being entirely transparent throughout the implementation process, employees will feel less infringed upon.
Separate Work from Personal
The most important factor that determines whether GPS tracking invades privacy is whether employees are collecting work data or personal data. For example, an fleet driver who is being tracked after work hours can reveal significant personal information that employers don’t have a right to know. By law, employers are expected to monitor only those details that relate directly to the business. Furthermore, only staff members who have a direct reason for knowing these details should have access to tracking data.
While the benefits of GPS tracking are endless and well-documented, employers can stay out of hot water by knowing what’s legal, openly communicating with employees, and using GPS only for factors that matter to the business (e.g. preventing theft, ensuring productivity, monitoring and improving delivery speed.)