Can your employer track you 24-7? This plaintiff, Myrna Arias, a former-Intermex sales executive, claims that her employer’s constant tracking of her every move violated her privacy rights. In Bakersfield, California, Arias’ employer required her and her fellow employees to download a mobile app that tracked geolocation, called Xora, that ran constantly on their iPhone. Arias refused to allow her employer track her movements during non-work hours and uninstalled the mobile app, which was against her employer’s policy. Intermex’s response was to fire her. Arias filed a suit against Intermex for invasion of privacy, retaliation, unfair business practices, and damages over $500,000.
In Arias’ complaint, she said:
Xora contained a global positioning system (GPS) function which tracked the exact location of the person possessing the smart phones on which it was installed. After researching the app and speaking with a trainer from Xora, [Arias] and her co-workers asked whether Intermex would be monitoring their movements while off duty. [Intermex] admitted that employees would be monitored while off duty and bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since she had installed the app on her phone. [Arias] expressed that she had no problem with the app’s GPS function during work hours, but she objected to the monitoring of her location during non-work hours [. . .] She likened the app to a prisoner’s ankle bracelet.
Intermex allegedly not only told her co-workers about her driving speed, but also about the specific routes she took, and the amount of time she spent at each customer location. Intermex’s monitoring of not only Arias’ company time, but of her personal time as well seems to cross the line. We will monitor this case to see the outcome and what type of precedent is set for other employers who want to use geolocational data to ensure employee efficiency.