Gizmodo reports that major manufacturing and shipping companies across the U.S. are asking their manual laborers to wear a new kind of motion sensor they claim is designed to insure worker safety. These devices can provide feedback to alert workers to potentially hazardous bends and twists. However, critics of the devices feel that they may be too intrusive, providing employers with the ability to inspect workers’ every move, and “opening an obvious path to intensive micro-surveillance of their productivity.”
According to the publication, the device manufacturer StrongArm started out making “ergoskeletons,” protective torso gear which helps shift loads from the spine to core and leg muscles with a “posture feedback system.” Bloomberg notes that the company quickly pivoted to data collection, an industry in which it acknowledged there was a “much larger market.”
Employees: Are Your Rights Being Infringed?
Many commentators have raised significant privacy and dignity issues when a boss requires employees to wear equipment that tracks their micro-movements. We also see potential legal issues under the Americans with Disability Act and other laws, such as bio-metric privacy statutes. If you feel your employer is requiring use of monitoring equipment for an improper purpose, such as surveillance; is second-guessing legitimate medical issues with its so-called own data; or has used equipment to delve into health information or pregnancy information, we are happy to speak with you. You may contact a Privacy Rights Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser using the contact form on this page.