Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Big Brother Moving in at the Los Angeles Times
employees they deemed a threat, but there I go again
The Tribune Company is an extremely paranoid business,
especially when it comes to it's own employees, and is
concerned the workers are not earning their keep.
I'm told security cameras have been installed throughout the Olympic Production Facility, at 8th and Alameda Streets, for reasons we can only guess, such as catching the workers actually using a chair.
Video monitoring – Video monitoring is often considered very invasive to employees. In many states, an expectation of privacy extends to the work environment. In California, the state constitution grants individuals at work a right to privacy. Additionally, California statutes from being videotaped in areas where they are getting dressed or undressed. The gray area is when video recording of employees is primarily meant to deter crimes at the workplace.
In Hernandez v. Hillside, Inc., the California Court of Appeals held that employees have an expectation of privacy and that being surreptitiously videotaped is a violation of this expectation. However, the court did find that there might be acceptable ways to videotape– e.g., when you provide notification of the company policy that they are subject to being videotaped.
Audio Recording – In many states, recording conversations – including phone conversations – violates not only the individual’s right to privacy but also may be illegal. In California there is a penal code section that states that it is a misdemeanor to record another person without their consent. This statute also creates civil liability for individuals for such actions.
Accordingly, this law protects individuals at work and also trumps one-consent audio recording states — meaning that if someone from a Texas is talking to someone in California and records the conversation, courts have held that California will apply its law and the taping will considered illegal.
Generally your company’s written policy will determine the expectation of privacy an employee has at work. The broader the policy and the more detailed it is as to different technologies used for monitoring the better the chance that the courts will find that the employee had a diminished expectation of privacy.