Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Implications of Recording in the Workplace

Workplace recordings have made headlines in recent weeks. For example, Omarosa Manigault-Newman publicly played a recording of a meeting with her then-boss, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, to bolster her claim that he threatened her during the meeting.

White House officials quickly fired back that the recording was a breach of protocol and possibly illegal.

Given the controversies in the news, employers might be wondering when recording is legal and what policies they can lawfully implement on recording in the workplace.

Although recordings can be useful to resolve disputed facts about a conversation, surreptitious recording in the workplace can create both legal and business risks for employers. Both employers and employees may violate state and federal wiretap laws by recording without consent. Even with consent, employers should hesitate before taping employees, because pervasive surveillance in the workplace can put workers on edge and damage their morale.

Similarly, employee recording may discomfit employees and customers, and put the employer’s confidential information at risk. Some employers respond to these risks by outright prohibiting recording in the workplace. more