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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 9 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. 


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