Is it legal for my employer to record both audio/video of me during my shift without my consent?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for my employer to record both audio/video of me during my shift without my consent?

I work overnights taking incoming phone calls and recently my employer has installed 2 cameras to record the people working that work overnight. Their response was

Asked on March 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, South Dakota


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, videotaping employees in the workplace is legally permissable as long as it is limited to job performance and work activities. Accordingly, an employer may videotape to prevent such behavior such as employee theft and the like. However, such taperecordings may violate employees' rights to privacy if they are videotaped in areas considered private and personal, such as bathrooms, locker rooms and break rooms. Further, employers must notify all employees in writing that video surveillance is being conducted and where it is being used, as well as state the areas that are off limits from such surveillance.
As for voice recording employees, since there is no “expectation of privacy” in public areas (the lobby, stairwell, conference rooms, etc.), recording conversations in such areas is legal. Otherwise, recording employees without their permission is illegal unless the person recording the conversation is also a party to the conversation, although in some states all parties must consent to the recording (S.D. follows the 1-party consent rule).
To be certain of all of your rights under specific state law, you can contact your state's department of labor and/or consult directly with an employment law attorney in your area, they can best advise you further.

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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