Can a private sector employer monitor your office conversations without warning?

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Can a private sector employer monitor your office conversations without warning?

Tonight I found out that my employer listens in on our conversations in the office. We the knew that our phone conversations were recorded, but he never told us that he records and listens in our conversations off the phone. Is this illegal?

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

in order to answer your question, you first need to read any employee handbook provided you when you were first hired by your employer. If there is such a handbook, most likely there will be reference to monitoring of office conversations by your employer.

In the private sector that you are working in, the employer can set rules concerning monitoring of employee conversations. From a practical standpoint, conversations between two employees are very often overheard by other employees who were not intended to be recipients of the conversation due to loud voices, lack of discretion or oversight.

In all likelihood your private employer can legitimately monitor your office conversations without warnings at the workplace because you have no real expectation of privacy in these conversations.

Good luck.


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