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dmahurin
08-30-2012, 08:59 AM
I know there are several lawyers and legal workers here so i thought i would ask you folks opinions on this. I found out that the director of my department at work placed audio recording devices in the shift supervisors office to record conversations between supervisors and employees. The director approached a supervisor yesterday about conversations he had with several employees including myself. Nothing terrible was said but we did discuss things we would like to see change in the company and just general small talk. I understand that you give up a certain right to privacy in public and the rules of one party recording of conversations, but this is has to be a violation of workplace ethics if not just flat out illegal. So my question is, is it legal for a person to record a private conversation between two employees without consent when the third party is not included in the conversation in the workplace?

dmahurin
08-30-2012, 09:03 AM
As an example, what if I was in the office to ask about grievance filing procedures against the director and he recorded that conversation, or if I was discussing FMLA medical issues and he recorded that conversation. Is this something worth pursuing and should I just STFU about it and watch what is said in the office?

Chiefnj2
08-30-2012, 09:04 AM
I didn't know you worked for the Chiefs.

JASONSAUTO
08-30-2012, 09:06 AM
todd is that you

Mr. Flopnuts
08-30-2012, 09:08 AM
They have the ability to audio record anything in their business space as long as it's disclosed to you in advance. /not a lawyer

dmahurin
08-30-2012, 09:11 AM
They have the ability to audio record anything in their business space as long as it's disclosed to you in advance. /not a lawyer

That's the thing, it wasn't to any person involved in the conversations.

Predarat
08-30-2012, 09:15 AM
Dell does this all the time, or at least did. They fired people over the stuff recorded. Tennessee is a right to work state so they do not have to have a reason to fire you. Dell took full advantage of that.

loochy
08-30-2012, 09:16 AM
That's the thing, it wasn't to any person involved in the conversations.

So tell everyone

luv
08-30-2012, 09:19 AM
What state do you live in?

Rain Man
08-30-2012, 09:20 AM
They have the ability to audio record anything in their business space as long as it's disclosed to you in advance. /not a lawyer

I'm not a lawyer, either, but I don't think that's correct. I think in many states you're only allowed to record a conversation if one party knows it's being recorded, and in the rest you're not allowed unless all parties know. Maybe there's a state or two that's an exception, but I think all or nearly all states have one of the above two restrictions.

Now, there may be some exception for stuff in a public place, but I'm not sure about that. My guess would be that it's illegal.

dmahurin
08-30-2012, 09:21 AM
What state do you live in?

Missouri

dmahurin
08-30-2012, 09:22 AM
I'm not a lawyer, either, but I don't think that's correct. I think in many states you're only allowed to record a conversation if one party knows it's being recorded, and in the rest you're not allowed unless all parties know. Maybe there's a state or two that's an exception, but I think all or nearly all states have one of the above two restrictions.

Now, there may be some exception for stuff in a public place, but I'm not sure about that. My guess would be that it's illegal.

13 states require all parties to know, the rest only require one person to know.

Cave Johnson
08-30-2012, 09:23 AM
Workplace ethics are whatever privileges your benevolent job creator overlords bestow.

Cave Johnson
08-30-2012, 09:26 AM
Slightly unrelated topic, has anyone run into a decent sized (15+ employee) company failing to pay required OT?

Fried Meat Ball!
08-30-2012, 09:27 AM
Missouri

Missouri is a one-party state. But unless I'm mistaken, that means one party involved in the conversation has to know about it. That means you can record a phone conversation without the other party knowing... but if the person that placed the recording device wasn't present, I don't think that's kosher.</notalawyereither>

Saul Good
08-30-2012, 09:29 AM
Workplace ethics are whatever privileges your benevolent job creator overlords bestow.

Employees should be able to bash their employer on company property during work hours to other company employees.

Fish
08-30-2012, 09:31 AM
Did you actually find recording equipment, or are you making an assumption based on the fact that the supervisor had knowledge of a conversation?

dmahurin
08-30-2012, 09:36 AM
Did you actually find recording equipment, or are you making an assumption based on the fact that the supervisor had knowledge of a conversation?

The director told the supervisor he recorded the conversations and took disciplinary actions against him. The supervisor told me what occurred, basically to warn me not to talk about things in that office anymore.

Sofa King
08-30-2012, 09:44 AM
This event should create a nice working environment.

/sarcasm.

Rain Man
08-30-2012, 09:51 AM
The key now is to use this information to your advantage. This is a great, great opportunity.

Stage some conversations where you talk about how much you care about the boss, and how you wish you were half as smooth with the ladies. Talk about how amazingly athletic he is, and speculate whether he once played college ball. Discuss the conversation with the coworker you don't like where they were insulting your boss and you defended him so strongly that it almost came to blows.

This is a golden opportunity.

trndobrd
08-30-2012, 10:00 AM
The director told the supervisor he recorded the conversations and took disciplinary actions against him. The supervisor told me what occurred, basically to warn me not to talk about things in that office anymore.


The supervisor that was disciplined needs to go get a good employment lawyer, and a good accountant to help him keep track of all his settlement money.

Don't know how rules in MO, but all employees might be members of class.

Saul Good
08-30-2012, 10:18 AM
The supervisor that was disciplined needs to go get a good employment lawyer, and a good accountant to help him keep track of all his settlement money.

Don't know how rules in MO, but all employees might be members of class.

Dude isn't going to get rich off of this. How is this different than security cameras, e-mail tracking, etc.?

luv
08-30-2012, 10:22 AM
Trying to find the statute in the Missouri Revised Statutes.

Spongeblack Bobtard
08-30-2012, 10:24 AM
This is happening at my work but we can't catch the guy. First, I would advise you make sure you have clear cut evidence before going forward.

In Georgia, this is called the "Eavesdropping Law." Down here, you are only allowed to record one person without their knowledge and you have to be the other person in the conversation. Anything else is illegal unless all parties are notified first.

dmahurin
08-30-2012, 10:27 AM
Dude isn't going to get rich off of this. How is this different than security cameras, e-mail tracking, etc.?

Video is allowed to be recorded without knowledge as long as no audio is recorded with it. Email is done on company equipment and is subject to review because it's a written record stored on a computer. Recording audio of a conversation without permission from at least one person involved is illegal. Even police have to get a warrant to record people talking even in public. I don't know all the ins and outs of the legal side of it, but I know those are true with my very basic understanding of the laws.

Pawnmower
08-30-2012, 10:28 AM
Its a tough one (grey area).....Part of it boils down to this question:

"Do you have a reasonable right to privacy at work" ?

Most likely no, if you work in an office.

Spongeblack Bobtard
08-30-2012, 10:30 AM
Just be sure you didn't sign something when you got hired that said it was OK. Also, is this something you think the company is backing or is it just one psychopath? In my case, it's just one nut job.

CoMoChief
08-30-2012, 10:33 AM
I've always been told that the other party has to be notified if the converstation is going to be recorded.


Setting up a device to listen to recorded conversations unknowingly is called eavesdropping is it not?

dmahurin
08-30-2012, 10:39 AM
Its a tough one (grey area).....Part of it boils down to this question:

"Do you have a reasonable right to privacy at work" ?

Most likely no, if you work in an office.

It's not an office setting. I would think you have the right to privacy when discussing issues with your supervisor. As I stated earlier, what if the conversation involved personal medical issues relating to FMLA? Granted this conversation wasn't but to be in a closed door setting with a superior should be reasonably expected to be private.

Saul Good
08-30-2012, 10:41 AM
It's not an office setting. I would think you have the right to privacy when discussing issues with your supervisor. As I stated earlier, what if the conversation involved personal medical issues relating to FMLA? Granted this conversation wasn't but to be in a closed door setting with a superior should be reasonably expected to be private.

Are you supposed to share private medical issues with co-workers?

dmahurin
08-30-2012, 10:45 AM
Are you supposed to share private medical issues with co-workers?

It's not required but you can discuss it while filing your paperwork for FMLA. And if you do discuss with your supervisor that shouldn't give another supervisor, or in my case the director, permission to record it.

reschief
08-30-2012, 10:48 AM
Your answer may be found here: www.privacyrights.org
The PRC addresses many related issues.

Dave Lane
08-30-2012, 10:51 AM
That's the thing, it wasn't to any person involved in the conversations.

As long as one participant of the conversation knew it was being recorded it is legal.

See the cool Nixon Watergate rule.

Rain Man
08-30-2012, 10:56 AM
The supervisor that was disciplined needs to go get a good employment lawyer, and a good accountant to help him keep track of all his settlement money.

Don't know how rules in MO, but all employees might be members of class.


I wonder if Chiefsplanet members could set up a corporation and pay for the lawyer in exchange for a chunk of the settlement.

Dave Lane
08-30-2012, 11:16 AM
Missouri is a one-party state. But unless I'm mistaken, that means one party involved in the conversation has to know about it. That means you can record a phone conversation without the other party knowing... but if the person that placed the recording device wasn't present, I don't think that's kosher.</notalawyereither>

Well if both he and his boss knew the device was there, there can't be any issue other than not liking it.

dmahurin
08-30-2012, 11:19 AM
Well if both he and his boss knew the device was there, there can't be any issue other than not liking it.

We didn't know it was there. He was told about it after being recorded and disciplined.

luv
08-30-2012, 11:52 AM
We didn't know it was there. He was told about it after being recorded and disciplined.

What was he disciplined for?