General Question

mrlaconic's avatar

Does an employer have to inform you if you are being recorded?

Asked by mrlaconic (3973 points ) September 6th, 2012

I am not asking about the legality of if they can record you but I am wondering if they have to inform you that you are being recorded and possible having some form (in an employment contract or otherwise) signed acknowledged that you have been informed you are being monitored?

I haven’t done anything wrong but I recently discovered there are cameras all over my building that are actually on and recording and my employer told no one.

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16 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Apparently, yes, with restrictions. Here is an article that lays it out.

Not in bathrooms or locker rooms.
Video only no audio.
Certain uses of the video are restricted by law.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My first job was working in a bank. There were cameras everywhere. So, no.

WestRiverrat's avatar

It depends on the state, some don’t have to tell you unless they are recording audio as well as video.

Others all they have to do is put a sticker on the door.

Lightlyseared's avatar

In the UK the operator must let you know they are using CCTV most commonly using signs. CCTV can be used in areas where you would normally expect privacy, ie changing rooms or toilets, but only in exceptional circumstances. Conversations between members of the public should not be recorded on CCTV but again there exceptions to this rule.

JLeslie's avatar

I would think the legalities are what matter. It must vary by state. Laws regarding audio recording vary by state between people, some states require both people have knowledge of the recording, some states require only one of the people in a conversation have knowledge. So the laws govern not only if you can, but also if infroming the persong is required. As far as video, I would assume while at a place of work you should assume “they” are watching or able to watch. But, I worked retail many years which usually means you are in front of the public and cameras are everywhere. I understand why in an office environment employees might feel they have more privacy.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Yes.

Though employers are supposed to have you sign a document proving you have been informed.

Of course you could always move to a company that trusts it’s employees.

Coloma's avatar

I have no idea, infact it never even crossed my mind that this could be done, short of working in a bank or conveinance store or some sort of place that already uses CC cameras,
Thank god I am self employed, I wouldn’t stand for that in a million years. Not that I would have anything to hide, but, seriously, what an invasion of privacy. Insane!

creative1's avatar

Usually you will sign something when you are hired, if you are that concerned call hr and look at what you signed when you started.

chyna's avatar

@mrlaconic Can you tell us what industry you work in?

mrlaconic's avatar

@chyna My job specifically is in IT but I work in the e-commerce retail industry and I am in Washington State

flo's avatar

Yes they have to, but I just assume it is a public place, so cameras everywhere except washrooms and lockerrooms.

Pandora's avatar

One should always assume work phones are not private and office work places are not private. However, I think rest rooms are pretty much illegal except for audio recording because it is a public place as well.
I think the only time they would have to state if you are being recorded is if you are making some sort of official complaint with HR or if you go to your boss and there are some personal issues that you need to discuss with them and want it off the record. But in short, all public buildings are open to the public and so nothing said or viewed is private.
I don’t think they have to tell you. Stores for instance do sometimes warn of videos but not all do. You can spot them and you know there are often hidden security in stores. They don’t have to tell you because you are hired to work and not to ever do anything illegal or obscene in public places while working.
Some jobs don’t tell you but I think they usually have a clause in their contracts about being observed for job performance. They don’t have to tell you when or how.
At my husbands job they let them know that their phones and computers are randomly listened too.

flo's avatar

@mrlaconic I don’t know why I thought they have to. I suppose I was thinking of audio recoding as in telephone conversations.

mrlaconic's avatar

Thanks for all the answers. This is not a phone issue but a video issue. Again I have no doubt that they can I just think its real shady that we were led to believe they were off / broken and then SURPRISE… Its kind of a false sense of security.

Pandora's avatar

I worked in a bank where they said the cameras didn’t work or were never on, and I still always conducted my business like they were on. Never thought for one minute they were off. Didn’t understand why they would have them if they weren’t using them. So I always made sure I went to the bathroom if I had to adjust or scratch any where. Even if no one was near me at the time, I didn’t want to take any chances that the camera was on.
If they told people the cameras were on than people will just devise better ways to work around the cameras to steal. For instance the bank vault had cameras but they faced away from the locks so no one else would have knowledge of our combo. But I still felt like maybe they had secretly hidden cameras as well.

flo's avatar

People who go about their day as assuming the cameras are there, and working are not shady, @mrlaconic.
Added: Also if someone is doing something wrong to a client, co-worker, lying about being there when they were not, stealing, etc. you would not want to be misidentified right?

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