Notice anything odd flying overhead? It’s not your imagination. The Municipality of Anchorage is using drone surveillance to spy on employees who file workers compensation claims.
In the case of Manley v MOA, AWCB Decision No 15-0009, MOA used a drone to follow around an injured employee and claimed that the surveillance proved that he was in the business of buying and selling stuff (as opposed to selling stuff off because he needed the money). Because MOA said it had proof he was running a business, it wanted to access to all of his cell phones, computers, bank records and Pay Pal accounts.
The Alaska Workers Compensation Board said no. It found that the MOA’s request was a “fishing expedition” (“an indiscriminate, far-reaching and speculative net with the hopes of ensnaring some relevant information”) and violated the employee’s constitutional right to privacy.
Meanwhile MOA gets to use the drones. And so will any other employer. Be warned and beware.
Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for over 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans. www.keenanpowell.com.
All consultations are free. To make an appointment, use the contact form on this website or call: (907) 258-7663.