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JessicaRabbit's avatar

Are these shady business practices legal?

Asked by JessicaRabbit (382 points ) November 20th, 2011

I was recently working in a crumby loans office part-time while I was attending school. I am finished school so I decided to leave the office. I worked reception. I felt a little uncomfortable because my boss seemed a little creepy. He only came in on Fridays, thank God.
He had these new cameras installed. One faced my desk (not the front door) and one was installed in the lady who did the loan’s office. They didn’t inform me that not only could he personally view the cameras from the comfort of his own home but he could also listen to what I was saying.
Another thing that they would do was tell the clients that they had to do a “small mechanical inspection” When really they were installing GPS units in their vehicles. It was a way to insure that they would not lose out on money, which is understandable. I just heard from someone that it isn’t legal.
I live in British Columbia and I know laws are different but does any Jellies that live in BC know about any of this? I just had a bad vibe about the place and it doesn’t matter anymore because I don’t work there but I am curious to know.

Thanks =)

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12 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

I cannot tell you about the laws. However, I can tell you I would spread the word about the place and its practices. I’d be very specific about the name of the guy and the company.
Those surveillance systems are inexpensive. An eight channel system is only about $500. It is motion sensitive and will send the image and sound to a computer anywhere.
The GPS is so he can repo their car without having to spend time looking for it..
He does not have to be sitting there all the time. It will alarm and record only when there is a change in the scene.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t like that they lied to you, they should tell you the security in place. I almost always worked in a place with cameras, that would not bother me. Tyat they can tape every word would be a little annoying, but I usually was working with the public, so I could be heard at any time really. The GPS is standard procedure with a lot of companies I think.

Some of these things are for your safety also. They can find you in an emergency, if someone treats you badly there is a record on camera, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

Here is an old question you might be interested in about feeling in jail if you have cameras on you all the time.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I don’t know for sure, but I would assume that if they own the building and they own the vehicles, that it would be perfectly legal.

The part about the GPS is a bit sneaky, but it would be just as sneaky to drive about without doing the job they pay people to do.

I know I would not like to work with cameras on me at all times because I have already worked in such a situation, but I can’t really bring my self to say it’s wrong of them to do. A boss should have the right to make sure the workers are doing what they are paid to do.

JessicaRabbit's avatar

They didn’t lie to me about there being cameras. It was obvious when they were installing them. They just didn’t tell me that they could hear what we were talking about. I found that out on my own. I didn’t like that. I just felt like I had the right to be informed about that the minute the cameras were installed. I liked the fact of there being cameras in the office safety wise. I just didn’t understand the point of the camera facing me and my computer screen. It seemed like he was more concerned about what I was doing rather then our safety. They also had me lying to customers about the “mechanical inspection”. The entire ship they ran there was greasy.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What a paranoid fuck… your boss.

People who go to this extreme only do it for two reasons…

Either their data is top shelf security… or…

They are scoundrels themselves, and are suspicious of others being just like them.

It’s a form of guilty talk.

JessicaRabbit's avatar

@worriedguy I would love to tell the public about the company. I have already thought about that. The boss wasn’t very nice to me. The only reason why Im not going to is because of one of the ladies that works there. She is an older lady that will probably retire from there. She has moved up a little in the company and is very happy. Im sure I could cause a big scene about the place and screw them over, but thats her job and she relies on it to put food on the table. I don’t want to screw her company in anyway. If I liked one thing about the office it was her.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Really though… I don’t mind cameras… As long as they are everywhere.

We should be capable of watching the watchers back.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@JessicaRabbit You are too nice.

You know, if clients found the GPS units and hooked them to other random cars it would cost him a considerable amount of money and possibly end the practice.

marinelife's avatar

Contact the government office that deals with working conditions (in the US it’s the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission) and ask about placing cameras and observing you without telling you.

Contact the police about the GPS installation.

blueiiznh's avatar

It sounds a bit creepy to me.

I would ask to boss straight out while you have another workmate with you.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

There are many call centers that regularly record not only all calls, but also record each keystroke and screenshot during the call.

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