Is it legal for co-worker to record conversations in workplace without the others’knowledge?

Asked on August 30, 2011 Ohio


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

OH 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. If the person is not a party to the conversation, then such a recording would be illegal. However, 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 where you are planning this recording matters. If it is within your co-worker's office make sure that you are a party to the conversation. If it is in the lunchroom then, arguably, they have no expectation of privacy so even if your not a party to the conversation recording it would be legal. But I would urge that you think before you do this - your employer might take a dim view of all of this and  could end up without a job.

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