Synopsis By: Lurie - Proceeding Author: James S. Petrie

The author distinguishes between the Supreme Court’s finding of a Constitutional right of personal privacy from governmental action and actions by private employers. “Instead of defining those rights, arbitrators assume that they will know them when they see them…” The reasonable expectation of privacy of public employees will yield to reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will uncover work-related misconduct when the scope of the search is reasonably related to its objectives, and is not excessively intrusive in light of the nature of the suspected misconduct. The starting point for the arbitrator should be the CBA and, if cited, state law. The author asserts that the admissibility of such evidence in arbitration should turn on its reliability and not on how it was obtained.