Is it legal for an employer to record a conversation between thetwo of us without my knowledge?

Today I found a hand held recording device in my bosses desk. On the device was a recording of a conversation that we had 2 days ago. I know that FL is a 2-party consent state but does that include conversations held in his personal building? This was a face-to-face conversation and nothing of real importance but I am concerned that he may be recording other conversations I may have while he is at lunch for example.

Asked on November 10, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

FL's wiretapping law is an "all party consent" law ("2 party consent" is a misnomer). Accordingly, it makes it a crime to intercept or record a "wire, oral, or electronic communication" unless all parties to the communication consent. State law makes an exception for in-person communications if the parties do not have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in the conversation. For example, if they are engaged in conversation in a public place where they might reasonably be overheard. In other words, you may record these kinds of in-person conversations without violating the law. However, you should always get the consent of all parties before recording any telephone and/or any in-person conversation that is private.

In your situation, any conversations between you and your boss in his office would most likely be considered to be private; conversations in the lunchroom would not.

Note: For violation of the law you can not only be subject to in addition to criminal prosecution but to a civil suit for damages as well.


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