legality surveillance Camera IN SEMI PRIVATE OFFICE

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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legality surveillance Camera IN SEMI PRIVATE OFFICE

I currently work in a construction admin position as a sales assistant. My day-to-day task vary due to the ups and down of the business, I came into work Friday morning to find a survalence camera install in my semi private office above my desk looking down on me. It is directly above me, I have not been notified that a camera would be installed. I am sure it is to monitor what is being done on company time but I feel a bit violated as where the placement of the camera is. It is directly above me to an angle that 1. Is a intrusion of privacy 2. I feel violated as if i wear a lower cut shirt that you could see directly down my

shirt. What is the legality of this?

Asked on October 17, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Leaving the low-cut shirt issue aside for the moment, an obvious camera--so one that has given you notice that it is there; i.e. you are aware of it and so are not being filmed surreptitiously--is legal in the workplace, other than in places where a  person is in a state of undress or changing (e.g. restrooms, locker rooms, space for nursing mothers, etc.). It would be legal in a semi-private office: since the office is semi-private, you do not have an legitimate or protected expectation of full privacy and should not, for example, be changing in your semi-private office.
If the camera is at an angle where it would reasonably or expectedly capture shots down your shirt IF you are wearing office appropriate clothing, you could ask them to relocate or re-aim it--it can't be used for inappropriate videos or stills. But if you would be ok when wearing office-appropriate clothes, then they don't have to move it to accommodate inappropriate clothing.

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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