Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Personal Phone Calls at Work Can Put Employers in Jeopardy

This from a California court: Employers unwise to permit use of company telephones for personal calls—at least if the employer plans to record those calls.
  • Two-party consent means two-party consent: All parties to a call must be told the call is going to be recorded and must consent.
  • Employers with recording systems should consider barring use of company telephones for personal calls and making sure that people receiving calls on a recorded line automatically are informed, up front, that the call will be recorded.
  • Barring all personal calls is not necessary, but it may offer some protection against the legal consequences of a breakdown in the employer’s system of ensuring notice to all parties before the recording begins.
In a for-publication opinion, the California Court of Appeal has warned employers that it is not enough to tell employees they have no right of privacy if they use the employer’s telephones for personal calls: the employer might still be liable to third persons whose telephone calls are recorded. Rojas v. HSBC Card Servs. Inc., ___ Cal. App. 4th ___, No. D071442, 2018 WL 802094 (Cal. Ct. App. Fourth Dist. Jan. 16, 2018). more

Note: Many other states follow the more restrictive version of Federal law–two party consent–as well. ~Kevin