What is considered to be an invasion of privacy by an employer?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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What is considered to be an invasion of privacy by an employer?

I’m an employee at a hotel in FL. I was sick so I called out, went to the beach and my boss took a picture of me without my consent. The next day presented me with a misconduct write up. Could that be consider invasion of privacy? I was outside in the beach in a shady spot because I was not feeling well, and he sneaked from behind and took a picture of me. Now they tell me I have a meeting with HR to discuss weather or not I’m getting fired.

Asked on August 22, 2011 Florida


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all, in order to have an invasion of privacy there must be an expectation of privacy. Somthing that you clearly did not have since you were out on beach open to the public. And there is no law about photographing people in a public setting. Further, unless you have some sort of employment contract union agreement, or company policy that would protect you in such a situation or you are in some way a victim of actionable discrimination, you have no legal right not to be fired, The fact is that in an "at will" employment relationship, an employee can choose to work for an employer. In turn an employer can hire or fire at will as well as set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This means that an employee can be fired for any reason or no reason, with or without cause.

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