Can a local business owner set up a video camera with audio and eavesdrop on my conversation?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a local business owner set up a video camera with audio and eavesdrop on my conversation?

My employer has video cameras with audio and eavesdropped on me telling another employee something I knew there was video but I was never informed of audio until he called to harass me saying everything I said word for word.

Asked on October 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, employers must provide notice, in writing, to all employees that audio/video surveillance is being used and where it is being used at the work premises. That having been said, there is no “expectation of privacy” in public areas such as lobbies, conference rooms, stairwells, etc., so recording conversations in these areas is legally permissable. Otherwise, recording without workers' consent is illegal. As these laws can vary from state-to-state, to be certain of all of your rights, you can contact your state's department of labor and/or consult with a local employment law attorney.

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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