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Iamaquestionperson

Purse/bag searches are legal- but what about specific wallet inspections inside the bag?

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Hey, I am a retail worker at a local mall. Our store's policy states: "All bags/containers carried in or out of the location must be inspected during shift changes, breaks or
during trash removal."

However, in actuality they want to not only look in our bags, but what us to open our wallets and show them what is in it.

Bag/purse inspections don't bother me, the wallet part does as it's not only personal information but often times it directly shows your personal economic status (lack of cards or money in it) and can easily be misused (as this means your managers see exactly how much cash you have in your possession and since there's no record of the search or contains of the searches any thing can be reported by management/associates). 

 

When I called our anonymous helpline with this question, they assigned me an investigator as it was deemed "excessive", but a week later instead I got a phone call chewing me out by the district manager. She read me the policy (over the phone) saying it specifies/includes "zippered compartments" and she reiterated this 5 times (assuring me that it was in fact there)- but when I reviewed the policy at home (as you can see above and clearly in the picture of the policy included) it doesn't. So before I continue to ask more questions on this topic to corporate- are there any specific law or regulation or even legal notice in relations to one's personal wallet/the information kept inside? 

 

Thank you! And yes, I took out the company name from the policy since I want to allow them to correct this without any backlash.

policy.PNG

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There's no legal distinction between a purse/bag and a wallet.  If you don't like it, don't bring a wallet to work.  Carry nothing other than your driver's license unless you have a legitimate need for cash or a credit card while you're at work.

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You both realize a police officer needs a warrant to view the contents of one's wallet- which by definition means others (including your employer) does as well- right?

 

Also- that would be the legal distinction between a purse and a wallet. TSA can search your bag, not your wallet.

Edited by Iamaquestionperson
Realized I should point out the distinction of the purse and wallet

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27 minutes ago, RetiredinVA said:

You are aware of the policy and consented to it by carrying your purse and wallet onto the premises of the store.  TSA can search your wallet with your consent.

 

Exactly! Consent is the keyword.

 

As you can see in the policy listed above- there is no mention and no consent for private information to retail management. Additionally- it does raise concerns as if your manager knows whats in your wallet- they can launder/steal money out of the system and have you blamed.

 

And I'd like to point out "they assigned me an investigator as it was deemed "excessive"

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1 hour ago, Iamaquestionperson said:

You both realize a police officer needs a warrant to view the contents of one's wallet- which by definition means others (including your employer) does as well- right?

 

No. The Constitution requires that government agents obtain a warrant to do a search without consent unless the circumstance allows for a warrantless search. Private persons, like your employer, cannot get a warrant because they have no right to search you without your consent at all.

 

No warrant is needed when you give consent — anyone can search you if you give consent for the search.

 

But here’s the rub: while you are free to refuse to give consent for the search, your employer is also free to fire you for refusing to consent to the search. So if you want make a stand here and refuse to consent to the searches just be aware that while you’ll be able to avoid the search you may well lose your job over it.

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15 hours ago, Iamaquestionperson said:

You both realize a police officer needs a warrant to view the contents of one's wallet

 

That's not true.  Sometimes the police will need a warrant to view the contents of a wallet.  Sometimes not.

 

 

15 hours ago, Iamaquestionperson said:

which by definition means others (including your employer) does as well- right?

 

No.  Absolutely wrong.  The constitutional requirement that law enforcement must obtain warrants for certain searches applies only to governmental officials.  In fact, since only law enforcement officers have the ability to obtain warrants, the notion that anyone else might need one is downright silly.

 

 

15 hours ago, Iamaquestionperson said:

Also- that would be the legal distinction between a purse and a wallet.

 

What would be the legal distinction between a purse and a wallet?

 

 

15 hours ago, Iamaquestionperson said:

TSA can search your bag, not your wallet.

 

Wrong again.  Also, what does TSA have to do with your employer?

 

 

14 hours ago, Iamaquestionperson said:

Exactly! Consent is the keyword.

 

You got one right.  You are free not to acquiesce to the policy, and your employer is free to fire you for it.

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