Employer has right to monitor company vehicle use: Board

Unions complained about employee privacy but company had right to monitor use of its assets
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 03/06/2013

An Ontario company’s electronic tracking of company vehicle use was reasonable and didn’t violate employee privacy, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has ruled.

Otis Canada, an elevator construction and maintenance company based in Toronto, found in early 2008 that its costs related to its fleet of company vehicles were increasing, particularly in fuel consumption, maintenance, rentals and accidents. An analysis determined the most cost savings could be achieved through a reduction in fuel consumption.

The leasing company Otis used recommended the use of a technology called Telematics, which involved the installation of devices in company vehicles that monitored when the vehicle was turned on and off. By measuring each vehicle’s operation, Otis could record the use of that asset and ensure employees who took company vehicles home weren’t using it for personal reasons. The devices had GPS capability, but Otis didn’t enable this feature.