Can My Employer Hire an Investigator to Follow Me?

April 17, 2019

You filed a workers’ compensation claim after being injured on the job. Now, you have the creepy feeling that someone might be watching you. Your instincts could be right. In Pennsylvania, employers often work with private investigators on the heels of workers’ compensation claims. And in many cases, the law gives them freedom to surveil you within generous parameters.

This type of “spying” happens because your employer is trying to make sure you are not committing fraud. For instance, you could be claiming an injury exists when it does not. Or you might be able to work but simply not want to. If a private investigator can prove that you are not as hurt as you claim, you could be in big trouble. Beyond having your workers’ compensation claim denied, you could face charges including fines and other penalties.

However, if you are being honest and are truly too injured to work, the private investigator should find no evidence to the contrary. Still, he or she may push the boundaries of legality to invade your space. That is why you should understand the types of legal and illegal surveillance techniques that can be used to prove or disprove your workers’ comp claim.

Legal and Illegal Surveillance Strategies

Some of the rules that law-abiding private investigators are mandated to follow when following someone around include:

  • Only taking videos or photographs in public places. Such locations can include houses of worship.
  • Tracking someone’s movements when they are in public but respecting their private spaces.
  • Keeping a record of everything someone does publicly for a period of time.
  • Talking to people who know the claimant about what the claimant normally does, such as working on his car or spending hours at the tennis courts.

Private investigators cross the line when they:

  • Enter private property, whether or not someone is at home;
  • Take video or pictures through windows or openings into private property, such as the claimant’s residence or garden area; or
  • Put any kind of surveillance equipment on or in private property to acquire video or still images.

What to Do If You Feel Unsafe

Although many types of surveillance are uncomfortable, they are not necessarily illegal. Still, if you feel that a private investigator is crossing the line, you have every right to contact your local law enforcement agency. You should also document all your experiences. This protects you and keeps your private life from becoming public. It also gives you more peace of mind moving forward.

Philadelphia Workers’ Comp Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Advise Injured Workers Throughout the Claims Process

Being injured while at work is stressful enough. Having someone following you around for days or weeks can be mentally draining. If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim, you do not have to go through the experience alone. Contact a Philadelphia workers’ comp lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. today. We can help you navigate the process of being surveilled, as well as submit any appeals if your original claim is denied. Schedule a free consultation by calling 888-PITT-LAW or complete an online contact form.