Tracking of company vehicles ‘reasonable,’ says Ontario board (Legal View)

Unions complained about employee privacy but company had right to monitor use of its assets
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/11/2013

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

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

So a leasing company used by Otis recommended the elevator company use a technology called Telematics, which involved the installation of devices on company vehicles to monitor when they were turned on and off. By measuring each vehicle’s operation, Otis could record its use and ensure employees who drove company vehicles home weren’t using them for personal reasons.