Help...employee privacy laws

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by BluemoonOKy, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    I need some of the excellent investigator members here to help me find specific laws regarding employers surveillance of employees in Kentucky. I've only been able to find info re audio...but want to know laws re video recording. Thanks for any help you can give me. I think I found a camera at work. Not that I am doing anything wrong, but I do not like it without being notified and pretty sure it's not allowed without notification. It's creeping me out.
    @bellalou @CoffeeBean
     
  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    The legal beagles will have to weigh in for the best information. There are 3 different cases - audio recording (like of phone conversations), video recording and video/audio recording. Does your camera have audio recording?

    "The majority of the laws dealing with video recording privacy issues tend to allow surreptitious recording and monitoring of video activity under most circumstances without notification of any of the parties involved."(palmvid.com)

    ยง 531.090. Criminal penalties: Recording or intercepting private communications in violation of the state's eavesdropping law, or distributing images in violation of the state's video voyeurism law are felony offenses punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Ky. Rev. Stat.Aug 1, 2012(rcfp.org)

    USLAW.org also has information.

    I think laws on audio recordings of phone conversations are very strict, videotaping only, quite a bit less so.

    I think that in Kentucky one party consent is all that's required to record a conversation, and that an employer can videotape employees without their permission for certain purposes, like to prevent theft of company goods.

    An employer can't use videotape to record a person's behavior in a restroom or adult bedroom, and cannot use a videotape of a protest or rally or union activity to threaten or limit an employee's right to demonstrate or join a union.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  3. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree that the bottom line needs to come from an attorney familiar with the law in your state. That said, outside of certain areas where privacy is expected, such as bathrooms and locker rooms where folks might change clothing, I'll guess that an employer can legally video surveil anywhere on their private property, including in areas where folks work for whatever reasons they deem it necessary. They may or may not need to provide notice, but most employers who use video are not surreptitious about it, unless it's being done specifically for investigation purposes where there is "something wrong" potentially going on. Sometimes reference to video is buried in the fine print of HR documents, too.
     
  4. CoffeeBean

    CoffeeBean Senior Member

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    I'm so sorry, I haven't been reading here as often of late so I completely overlooked your post.

    That is creepy and generally speaking they inform employees in advance. Give me a day, but in the meantime can you contact HR?

    I really hope that you found a camera in an office or hallway, not pointed into a bathroom stall!
     
  5. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    Thank you for answering me. I miss you being here and am glad to see you posting. We dont have hr as its a small mom and pop with only a handful of employees. No, the camera wasnt pointed in a bathroom...i think there is one by the front door. I did ask the owner, who of course denied it, and reminded him he needs to post a sign should there be cameras on the premises recording. A few things have happened where things have been said to me that could not have been known without someone surveilling. Like people are knocking on the front door when I've been in the back or gone to another location and the owner will call me and say someone is there at the door (and the customer has said they didn't call, etc) I am not worried because I've done anything wrong. I just feel creeped out. I know they trust me because I am often in charge of large amounts of money and extremely valuable inventory but I still feel they should let us know if we are being surveilled. I guess it could be the door motion sensor thing detecting people as they come in the door. It's just weird and feels violating of my privacy. Sometimes on my break, I have private conversations that aren't anyone else's business.
     
  6. CoffeeBean

    CoffeeBean Senior Member

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    Yeah, I'd be creeped out knowing those private conversations listened to by outsiders too. Sadly, Kentucky is a one-party notification state so anything that they hear or record without YOUR consent is okay because THEY know about it. But wait! There's a bit of a loophole...

    I'd give them a call. Not from work if you don't want to risk getting fired 'because I can' though. You can email them too.

    Welcome - Labor Cabinet
     
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  7. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

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    Yep. imo, there's nothing wrong with it. Shouldn't bother you unless you're doing something wrong. There are cameras all over at both my places of employment.

    Although, just b/c there are cameras, doesn't mean there is audio.
     
  8. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    Again, I'm not doing anything wrong...but, it still bothers me. Maybe to you it's ok, but I do not agree that because it bothers me, I am guilty of something... And although you may not mean it the way i took it, I don't really appreciate what you're insinuating because my integrity is very important to me. I am neither a liar nor a thief. I havent even been late to work the entire time ive worked there. It just caught me off guard that they would video our store without posting a sign, like i see in other stores, so i was surprised. They did have an employee, before I worked there steal merchandise, so I can surely understand and it appears it is their right to do so. I will just not take private phone calls during my break in the office.
     
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  9. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    That'd throw me too. I definitely would have appreciated a heads up, especially making private phone calls. Sorry they put you in this spot though. Perhaps ask them why they didn't notify you, pointing out the personal aspect.
     
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  10. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    It is illegal here in Germany to install cameras to film your employees.
    For a few years I had cashier duties and there are cameras in banks in these areas. But they are directed away from the employees and on the customers.

    There are cameras on the safe that film the pin pad and safe door, in case there is a break in.
    Since we never spend more than a few minutes there, it never bothered me.

    But if I were constantly filmed, eventhough I'd do nothing wrong, it would bother me very, very much.

    I am not familiar with american laws though.
     

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