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. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
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.
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.
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