POBAR specifically addresses searches and provides that any space under the employer`s control (such as a personal storage space or locker) may be searched by the department if the officer is notified, or if the officer is present and gives consent. If the employer does not wish to do either, the employer must obtain a valid search warrant. However, if the officer has a reasonable expectation of privacy, such searches may violate the constitutional restrictions against unreasonable searches and seizures. In such cases, the employer may search if it meets a reasonable standard. If it`s not work related or a criminal matter, the employer may need to obtain a warrant. It is recommended that if the employer wants to avoid lawsuits, POBAR violations and the exclusion of evidence, then the employer should obtain the officer`s consent or a valid search warrant.
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