HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 10 SCRUTINY SCOPE « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Inspections of Employee Work Areas and Personal Property

To safeguard personnel as well as protect company property from theft or destruction, an employer can search and inspect an employee’s workspace, such as a personal office or cubicle.  Yet where should the company draw the line?  Can management search a locked desk drawer? An employee locker? A purse or briefcase?

A well-written handbook can and should answer these questions.  Policy should spell out: (a) the legitimate grounds for company search and inspection of specified work areas and personal property brought into the workspace; and (b) employee option to leave personal items outside of the office if they do not wish to have them subject to inspection.

Policy elements can also include:

  • The specific scope of company’s search and inspection rights, including designated work areas, vehicles, purses, clothing, briefcases and other employee personal property for stolen property, alcohol or drugs in violation of company policy, unauthorized weapons, or other hazardous or unsafe materials;
  • Required cooperation in administering this policy;
  • Confirmation the company can make such inspections at any time, with or without prior notice or consent; and
  • Employees bear the risk of loss of their personal property to the extent permitted by applicable law.


Implement and regularly review a comprehensive, clearly written handbook with an updated and California-compliant workplace inspection and personal property policy.

We publish this series to educate employers on best practices for a well-written handbook that assists applicants, employees, and management alike. To purchase our template handbook – which contains the above policy and much more – and accompanying forms or for more information, please contact Office Manager Aimee Rosales at 626.583.6600 or email her at officemgr@tbowleslaw.com.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
September 9, 2022

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If you are an employer facing possible litigation, or have an employee issue on which you need immediate guidance, call us to set up a consultation, or submit your message.

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