EMPLOYEE SEARCH 6
Inthis case, as the Information Security (InfoSec) Specialist, I cansearch the vehicle based on several reasons. First, the car is parkedin the company’s parking lot and second there is a reason tobelieve that Mr. Got Yourprop’s is trying to smuggle out the sourcecode for Product X, which is a breach of security. Theft of companyintellectual property is a probable cause and hence the search is fora legitimate business reason (Gentry, 2005). Consequently, searchingMr. Got Yourprop’s personal vehicle as long as it is parked on thecompany’s property is by and large not unreasonable, particularlybecause Mr. Got Yourprop made remarks that suggest that he might besmuggling the source code for Product X of which the company isprojected to earn millions in revenue over the next three years. Myjob is to make sure that the company’s property is safe includingany intellectual property. Mr. Got Yourprop has expressed interestin working for a rival company, and if he leaks the source code forProduct X to the competitor, the company is bound to lose millions.However, before conducting the search, it will be important first totry and verify if he is in fact trying to smuggle intellectualproperty by checking available sources of information among thenfootage from security cameras to rule out other possibilities.Moreover, there should be at least two other people to act aswitnesses when the search is being done. Also, there is the premisethat Fourth Amendment does not apply to searches conducted bynon-governmental employees who are not acting on behalf of thegovernment. Nevertheless, the employee must consent to the search,and the Supervisor should not gain access to the car by force.
Ifevidence of theft of intellectual property can be found, MakestuffCompany may seek to pursue criminal prosecution. However, theSupervisor cannot direct the police to search the vehicle even if itis parked in the company’s parking lot. Police officers are publicemployees and hence governed by the Fourth Amendment. If the policeare to search the vehicle, they need a warrant to do so or otherwisethe evidence might not be admissible in court due to the exclusionaryrule. The exclusionary rule applies to any evidence that is seizedthrough unconstitutional means (Bergman & Berman-Barrett, 2000).This is to mean that if the police search the vehicle and recover theevidence, without a warrant, they are violating the law and hence thecourt may decide to suppress evidence presented by the prosecution,and the prosecution may be forced to dismiss all charges against Mr.Got Yourprop. Nevertheless, the Supervisor can search the vehicle,recover the evidence and then hand over the evidence to the policeand the evidence is now admissible in court since the search wasconducted by the Supervisor acting on his own discretion as opposedto instruction from the police. However, the employee must not useforce to recover the evidence since Mr. Got Yourprop can sue fordamages.
Itis important to note that the Fourth Amendment particularly appliesto government employees or companies that conduct extensive businesswith the government or the company is heavily regulated by thegovernment. As a result, the Supervisor can search Mr. Got Yourproplocker without violating his privacy rights with but as long as theemployee consents to the search. Despite the fact that severalfactors come into play when determining the legitimacy of each case,essentially the law states that searches are allowed if an employerhas a logical grounds for suspecting the employee of unlawfulactivity and the search is confined to non-personal areas in thepremises (Sack, 2000). The gym locker is the property of the companysince it is on-site and hence the employee has no expectation ofprivacy especially since the search is for legitimate reasons, inthis case, being theft of intellectual property.
Theoffice and office lockers are the property of the company, and hence,the company can search the locker. Moreover, Mr. Got Yourprop has noreasonable expectation of privacy in relation to office furniturebecause he knows that the employer has master keys to the locker andhence can access the locker when deem fit. Additionally, the employerhas reasonable cause to search the locker which is theft ofintellectual property the locker is in the workplace. However, thesearch must be conducted within reasonable scope meaning that itemsin plain sight should not be checked. The fact that Mr. Got Yourpropis aware that the company is in the possession of a master key meansthat he should not have an expectation of privacy hence giving areason to search the locker is legitimate (Moore, 2005).
Mr.Got Yourprop has been working for the company for some time anddefinitely he has been receiving a salary from the employer which isthe consideration and is it shows that he agreed to the terms andconditions of the company. Second, under normal circumstances, theacceptance of a contract is effective upon dispatch unless otherwisestated. Mr. Got Yourprop received the employee handbook and legally,the handbook does not need to be signed for it to be a bindingagreement between the company and Mr. Got Yourprop since he expressedacceptance of the terms of the handbook through conduct. Even thoughMr. Got Yourprop did not sign the handbook, he did nothing to showexplicitly that he did not agree to it. As a result, the company cantake his silence as an indication that he accepted the terms of thehandbook. Therefore, Mr. Got Yourprop is bound by the terms of thehandbook even if he did not sign it unless he can prove that did notaccept the handbook or prove that the provisions of the handbook areillegal (Ford, Notestine & Hill, 2000).
Thelegitimacy in searching Mr. Got Yourprop’s briefcase depends uponwhether Mr. Got Yourprop had a reasonable expectation of privacy.Therefore, the presence of the sign adjacent to the checkpointstating that the aim of the checkpoint is for security staff to checkfor weapons or any other materials that may be damaging to theworking environment or employee safety gives the security guards theright to search the briefcase. The notice places the employees onnotice that regular searches can be conducted randomly. Mr. GotYourprop is aware of that the company can conduct a search hence hasno expectation of privacy (Hess & Wrobleski, 2008). Moreover, thesearch has been necessitated by probable cause that Mr. Got Yourpropmay be trying to smuggle intellectual property from the company usinghis briefcase.
Bergman,P., & Berman-Barrett, S. (2000). Thecriminal law handbook.Berkeley: Nolo Press.
Ford,K., Notestine, K., & Hill, R. (2000). Fundamentalsof employment law.Chicago, Ill.: Tort and Insurance Practice, American Bar Association.
Gentry,J. B. (2005). HRhow-to: Discipline, everything you need to know about implementing aneffective employee discipline program.Chicago, Ill: CCH
Hess,K., & Wrobleski, H. (2008). Introductionto private security.St. Paul: West Pub. Co.
Moore,R. (2005). Searchand seizure of digital evidence.New York: LFB Scholarly Pub.
Sack,S. (2000). Theemployee rights handbook.New York: Warner Books.