Is it legal to record a phone conversation with my employer or a representative of my employer without telling them?

A representative (my boss’s father) of my employer delivered a message, actually an ultimatum, to me from my boss (who is currently out of the country). I was told that if I did not drive a company truck #1 that was unsafe (front brakes are metal on metal), I needed to take the license plate off of trk. #1 and put it on company trk. #2, because #2 did not have a plate (which is illegal) and drive that trk. Trk. #2 has 2 flat tires and another tire whose tread is hanging off. If I didn’t drive either trk. #1 or #2, I wouldn’t be needed any longer.I know how stupid this sounds, that’s my boss.

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

IN is what is known as a "1-party consent" state. This means that as long as the person recording a conversation is a party to it, then the recording is legal. Specifically, if the person is not a party to a a telphone conversation, then recording it is iillegal; if an in person conversation is being recorded, while not spelled out in the applicable law, it would be best to have at least the consent of 1 party to it.  Additionally, in virtually all states, the law makes an exception for in-person communications when the parties do not have a "reasonable expectation of privacy". So for example, it would be legal to record a conversation in a public place where it might reasonably be overheard.

So depending on what you are planning to record matters. If it is within your co-worker's office you should be a party to the conversation. If it is in the lunchroom then they have no expectation of privacy, so even if you're not a party to the conversation recording it would be legal.


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