Any search policy should overcome the "expectation of privacy" - let employees know that all areas within the employer's premises, all persons entering or leaving the premises, all vehicles used in the employer's business, and all belongings brought into or onto company premises or vehicles are subject to search at any time.
No use of physical force is allowed - never, ever physically force an employee to submit to a search - otherwise, your company could face civil and criminal liability for assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and/or other charges. If you reasonably suspect that an employee has someone else's property without authorization and they refuse to submit to a search, you can contact local law enforcement authorities (in this regard, see the topic on malicious prosecution).
All an employer needs to do is to make submission to searches a condition of continued employment - the policy should state that refusal to submit to a search will be grounds for discharge.
For a detailed article regarding searches at work, click here.
For a sample policy regarding searches, click here.
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