Can a supervisor legally record a conversation between them self and an employee without the employee’s consent or knowledge?

UPDATED: Apr 10, 2012

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Can a supervisor legally record a conversation between them self and an employee without the employee’s consent or knowledge?

I have had some recent mental health issues that required application for intermittent FMLA leave. When I returned to work, I was required to meet with my supervisor and another supervisor in the department regarding my leave. Specifically, I was advised of additional information that was required before my leave was approved. We also discussed my mental health status. I was advised today by the director of my department that this conversation was recorded without my knowledge or consent. I have been told by several people that this is illegal.

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In many states it would be legal to record the conversation without your consent, so long as the other person(s) in the conversation (e.g. the supervisor(s)) either did the recording or consented to it. However, you are not in many states--you are in Illinois. Illinois is a "two-party consent" state, which means every party to a conversation must consent to its recording. Your employer therefore has violated the law by recording you without your consent, and the supervisor(s) who did this are potentially subject to criminal prosecution.

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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