Are employers allowed to have audio surveillance in the workplace?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are employers allowed to have audio surveillance in the workplace?

I work in a bar. Is it also violating customers rights because the owners son is listening in on conversations.

Asked on November 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In PA, all paries to a conversation must consent to a voice recording being made in order for it to be legal. However, in the workplace, if employees are notifed that a recording is being made then they are deemed to have given implicit permission for such a recording. Further, there is no “expectation of privacy” in public areas such as a restaurant. Therefore, since a bar is a public place, workers as well as customers can legally be recorded even if they have not consented to such. As creepy as this eavesdropping may be, it is not against the law. To be certain of your rights under specific state law, you can contact your state's department of labor and/or consult directly with an employment law attorney in your area, they can best advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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