Can a warehouse Security Guard check the bags of workers when they are leaving?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Riverside, CA

I work for a security company which is hired as an independent contractor by the warehouse management (WM). Guards are instructed by the WM to check the bags of the workers (all coming from temp agency) once they are leaving. I don't want to be accused of invading privacy, touching their bags, their stuff in the bags . . . ( and what not)! WM has found a good count of empty boxes with the stuff missing that is why they have asked us to beef up the security.
Also, can I write and paste this on the warehouse exit, both in English and Spanish (90% workers don't speak English), "Be Prepared to take your belongings out of your bags. No exceptions. Thank You."

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . These aren't truly legal questions. These are questions about your duties and how you should perform them. And that is a broad subject matter that must be addressed by your employer, through your supervisor. Nothing that any attorney says here can supersede or alter the fact that your employer is responsible for directing your work and defining your responsibilities. You need to take these questions to your supervisor and act based on the instructions that follow from that inquiry.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more
  2. Greg Hagopian

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As an employee you are probably not liable for carrying out security policy. I would helpfully suggest that if anyone refused to show you their bags that you not attempt to stop them or search them by force. That may get you into trouble. I'm almost certain your agency has this rule in place already.

    As to whether or not a company policy of searching all employees is legal, the sad truth is that it probably is. Workers would need to be put on notice that were subject to search, and yes, big signs at the entrance and exit are the most common ways to put them on notice.

  3. Isileli Tupou Manaia Mataele

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Private companies are not bound by most privacy laws that apply to the government such as law enforcement. The company is allowed to have policies that are not discriminatory or otherwise unlawful. If people do not like those policies of private companies they do not have to work there or use them. People have no choice with the government but to use or be subject to their control.

    This is not a comprehensive answer. Call us for more information. 619.797.5456 www.mataelelaw.com

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