What to do if I work at a small chain of yoga studios and my boss is implementing a live audio feed system so that he can listen to teacher’s classes?

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What to do if I work at a small chain of yoga studios and my boss is implementing a live audio feed system so that he can listen to teacher’s classes?

He’s not shared this information with the students (customers) nor has he specified when recording will begin. In addition to this, he’s not shared whether or not the recording will occur only during class times or if it will be ongoing. We also teach private classes. I’m concerned about privacy in the rooms when class has ended and students are chatting amongst themselves and also in the event the recording (or live streaming) takes place during a private class. Is this a legal action?

Asked on June 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This is potentially illegal. Texas is what's known as a "one party consent" state: that means that so long as one party to a conversation consents to the recording, it  is legal. However, if the recording is going on when the people in the room (e.g. customers; or even staff not aware they are being recorded then) are not aware of being recorded or, if aware, do not consent or agree to it, then it would be illegal, and the employer could face criminal liability.

There are ways to make it legal:

1) Have all employees sign a form acknowledging that they may be recorded and consenting to it  (anyone who won't sign can be fired).

2) Have the membership contracts or agreements  prominently say that classes may be recorded, and that by signing the agreement, customers  agree and consent to this.

3) Have notices posted around the studio that classes will be recorded, and participating in the classes constitutes consent to the recording.


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