Can I be secretly filmed at work?

I live and work in Charlotte NC for a private ophthalmology practice. I recently found out through gossip that my boss secretly set up
hidden cameras around the office. One spot being our break room. I did not consent to this and neither has my fellow coworkers. I am
furious Can he legally do this?

Asked on February 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, videotaping in the workplace is deemed to be acceptable if it's limited to job performance and related activities of work. For example, an employer may videotape to prevent theft or other wrongful work behavior. However, an employer may have violated their employees' rights to privacy if they videotaped them in areas considered private and personal (i.e. those without a necessary business reason). These areas include bathrooms, locker rooms and, in some states, break rooms. Also, employers must notify all employees in writing that video surveillance is being conducted and let them know where they use videotaping. Additionally, employers must clearly state the areas that are off limits from such taping. That having been said, if an employee seeks to sue for invasion of privacy, they must first show a legitimate expectation of privacy at their job. However, this expectation maybe reduced after they've been told by the employer that a certain activities may be monitored (e.g. internet use) or if they've waived their privacy rights in an employment contract or the like. To be certian of your rights under specific state law, contact your state department of labor. You can also consult with an employment law attorney as to this. After you have relayed all of the details of the your situation, they can best advise you further.


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