Can an in-home employer secretly film their employees without disclosing that there are cameras?

UPDATED: Jan 13, 2012

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Can an in-home employer secretly film their employees without disclosing that there are cameras?

I worked for an employer inside her house and I saw by accident one day that she was secretly filming us without our knowledge in the room we were working in I don’t know if this extended to private areas like bathrooms. Is this legal? We worked in a custom-order business so theft would have never been an issue and we have no access to any funds or valuables. None of the workers can locate where the video cameras are and we have never been disclosed on their existence.

Asked on January 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, it is is perfectly permissable for an employer to have video (and audio) surveillance in the workplace. Typically no employee consent is required since there is no constitutional right to privacy if there is no "expectation of privacy". 

While individuals have an expectation of privacy in their own homes, courts have held that as employees, they can have no such expectation at work.  Accordingly, employers have the right to install surveillance systems throughout the workplace.  The only areas that such systems are prohibited are in the bathrooms/dressing rooms or the like.   

However, these laws vary from-state-to-state; especially with regard to audio surveillance.  The best thing for you to do right now is to contact an employment law attorney in your area. For an hour or so of their time, you can go over the details of your case.  They can then advise you accordingly. 

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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