Is it legal for an employer to have video surveillance in the workplace?

UPDATED: Jan 16, 2011

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Is it legal for an employer to have video surveillance in the workplace?

If so, does the employee have to sign a release form?

Asked on January 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Is is perfectly legal for an employer to have video surveillance in the workplace; additionally no employee consent is required.  Essentially, there is no constitutional right to privacy if there is no "expectation of privacy".  For instance, while someone has an expectation of privacy in their own home, courts have held that they can have no such expectation in the workplace (i.e. in general an employee has no expectation of privacy).  In general, employers have the right to install video surveillance systems throughout the workplace.  The only places that video (or audio for that matter) is prohibited is in the bathroom/dressing room.  Other than this area, an employer is typically permitted to oversee and record any inside the office/common areas.  

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