NYCLU sues over alleged GPS tracking of state worker's private car

The New York Civil Liberties Union announced today that it has filed suit in Albany County today against the state Department of Labor for allegedly planting a GPS tracking device on an employee's personal car without a warrant. From the NYCLU press release:

"Your boss can't sit in the backseat of your car and watch you, your wife and your children 24 hours a day, but that's exactly what the Department of Labor did to [Michael] Cunningham," said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. "The courts have already prohibited police from using GPS devices to track people without a warrant. We're confident they will hold the government agencies to the same standard. The only thing scarier than having a police officer secretly track you is having your boss secretly track you."

The NYCLU alleges that Cunningham's car was tracked 24/7 in June and July 2008 -- including a family vacation in Massachusetts. It says DOL used the GPS data against Cunningham in its attempt to fire him this past August.

You might recognize Cunningham's name from the story this past spring in the Times Union detailing how he had been put on "house arrest" by the DOL for allegedly filing false time sheets. He was recalled to work in the DOL's offices in May -- but then went out on sick leave because he allegedly suffered depression from being assigned to an isolated office. [TU] [TU]

The NYCLU says Cunningham received a notice on termination on August 24. According to the SeeThroughNY database, Cunningham's salary was $114,961 in 2009 -- though he ended up getting paid a little more than half that.

Comments

Great catch! This is a bizarre story that keeps getting weirder. I still remember the detail of him calling into work from home at his EXACT punch-in/punch-out times, or else getting docked pay.

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