Need legal advice

  1. A situation occured at work and I need some legal advice.

    I am a male transit bus driver. An off duty supervisor entered a female driver's bus while she was off the bus to use a restroom. Her purse was hidden out of view and you had to look and feel to find it. The off duty supervisor searched her bus and found her purse. He then picked it up, opened it up and looked through the purse without her consent.

    She brought this to our director's attention and he said that anything on the bus unattended is fair game.

    My question is this. If someone just started looking through a women's purse without her knowledge or consent, what law is being broken? There has to be some law violated or else this would be happening everyday. Can anyone help me on this as the woman involved isn't sure what to do. I told her the State's Attorney would know but she doesn't want to go there and look like a fool.

    Any help is really appreciated.
  2. I am not sure about this(someone correct me if I am wrong), but don't you need a warrant to search someone's personal belongings?
    Edit: Did she notice anything missing from her purse after the supervisor searched through it?
  3. She's honest and said nothing was missing from the purse. She could have lied and said there was money missing or something along those lines but like I said, she's an honest person.

    Our director said only the police need a warrant. As the supervisor was not a police officer, our management feels it's much ado about nothing. They did discuss the situation with the supervisor but they still feel he had every right to violate her privacy.

    I know there has to be a law against this but I can't find anything online as to what law it may be.
  4. Okay, I have to ask . . .
    why did you ask a Purse Forum that's primariliy about our obsessive love for handbags?
    We're not primarily comprised of attorneys, in fact, there's a whole bunch of young teens here.

    Sorry . . . just seemed SO weird to read this from someone who never posts here! LOL!

    That said, it's CLEARLY a voilation of privacy and completely unethical. Unless there was a substantial reason, it's totally unacceptable.
    Illegal? I have no idea, but I'd never employ a loose cannon that would do that.
  5. If you're a bus driver, then you must belong to a union. If this post is indeed real, then have her file a grievance with the union about this.
  6. I thought that someone who owns a purse may have an idea as to the sanctity of it's contents. Being a male, I know I'd have a problem if someone searched my wallet. Also, they'd have had to get it from my pocket. That's pick pocketing.

    I thought that someone may have had this happen to them, and if so, they could point us in the right direction. I am co-editor of a transit operator newsletter. We also have a daily news site online. We can't seem to get any response from county officials. I saw this site and hoped someone could help us. I sincerely apologize for invading your area but we have many women who are now subject to searches we feel are illegal. We are trying to protect them and their purses.

    In fact, if you were on one of our buses, your purse could be checked without a warrant and without your consent. So in effect, we are also trying to protect you as we feel these searches violate not only a women's civil rights, but they violate her personal rights as well.

    I don't have to know leather from suede from vinyl to know you don't just grab a woman's purse and look through it. I won't go through my wife's purse and we've been married 26 years. But I'd still like to know what law it falls under, and mistakenly, I thought I'd get an answer here. I had no idea it was just about fashion, and again I apologize for the invasion of your time and space, but I did it because I'm trying to protect every woman I work with.
  7. Please don't apologize, I think it's noble that you came here to ask questions on a woman's behalf, I truly do.
    I'd hope a man was as thoughtful on my behalf.
    It's always interesting to hear about how people find us though ;)
    It's never happened to me, but I'd be pretty irate if it did.
  8. We are non-union. If we were, we would have filed a grievance.

    This post is real. Here is our on-line site for the rest who don't believe it. Please read the September 10th and 15th editions. So sorry I came here.

    The Operators Daily News
  9. Seriously, don't apologize!

    Anyone is welcome here.
    It's a unique story, you have to understand we can be skeptical sometimes, no worries!
  10. Was he just looking through it to maybe find out who it belonged to?
  11. Dont feel badly..I think its nice of you to try to help her out.
  12. Maybe some of our lawyer PF'ers can help you out with advice..I read the article..I think its ridiculous to have your personal items gone through without consent
  13. I am not a lawyer, but I do work in the trenches of the legal field.

    The main things someone is going to want to know is:

    -Do the terms of employment designate that personal belongings in the "workplace" (ie. bus) are private or are they fair game for the employer?

    -Is the person who searched the purse using anything they may have seen in the contents against this employee? (ie. prescriptions for a medical condition, or other personal items?)

    -If you PM me, I can try to direct you to some legal resources in your area.

    One more thing to caution you about: if this situation evolves into a legal action, the lawyers for the other side may do some investigating and may find this post. You might want to be careful about what you say online in the meantime.
  14. PS: I apologize if I seemed skeptical about your post!!