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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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My husband works for a major carrier service. He recently

Customer Question

My husband works for a major carrier service. He recently discovered a camera watching only his station. He also noticed a camera directly under his station. He has been working for the company for over 24 years and has never seen a camera before, especially one that seems to be targeting him. He feels harrassed. I read that video taping is not illegal in the workplace and notice isn't required, but he believes the camera under his station does have audio recording. My question: Would he have a case against the company for invasion of privacy due to the audio recording and harassment?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your husband's situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

While the law in CA does allow video monitoring of employees, if the recording also captures sound, and is done without notice to your husband, as well as his permission, then the employer is violating state wiretapping laws.

Your husband may file a formal complaint with the CA department of Labor, or he may file a criminal complaint with the local prosecutors office, or he may sue the employer for Invasion of Privacy based on the audio recording. However there would not be a specific cause of action for harassment in this circumstance. Harassment is technically a criminal charge.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your response.


Would he need to read over his employment contract to be sure he didn't give permission for recording when he was hired? Also, if he is in the union, should he go through them to file complaints?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning Tameka,

He would need to review his personnel file as well as his contract to determine whether he gave permission to have his conversations recorded. However, in my experience, this is rarely sought by employers, and it is more likely that the person who ordered the installation of the recording device simply was not aware of the CA law in this regard.

He can go through the union if he wants---but he may also file suit for the Invasion of Privacy and report the incident to the police or prosecutor.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you and your family the best in your futures,

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I truly appreciate your quick response. I now need to get an idea of how he should go about getting what he needs to present to the police, and/or prosecuter, or lawyer. Would pictures of the cameras and audio device be enough? Does he have to file a complaint with the police before he gets a lawyer? Is getting a copy of his file as simple as calling HR and requesting it?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Hi Tameka,

He should consider getting an attorney immediately, before filing a formal complaint with the police or the Labor Department. The lawyer can assist in getting the evidence necessary to prove the case and to provide evidence of a crime to the prosecutor as well.

He may review his personnel file by asking to see it. Under CA law, an employer who receives a written or oral request from a current or former employee to inspect or copy his or her payroll records shall comply with the request as soon as practicable, but no later than 21 calendar days from the date of the request. Here is a link to the law:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_righttoinspectpersonnelfiles.htm



You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Will he have to stop working if/when he starts a case against them? Can they fire him if he chooses to keep working while sueing?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
No he will not have to stop work, Tameka.

He can not be fired in CA for reporting a violation of law. Suing for invasion of privacy though is not specifically protected and he could have a problem with that issue. However, in CA the employer is legally obligated to treat the employee with good faith and fair dealing, and terminating him because he files a legitimate claim for damages could then result in his attorney suing for wrongful termination as well.

He needs a lawyer, and this is something he will need to discuss with his attorney---as it is not simply law, but also litigation strategy.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So, he needs to find an employment lawyer, right? I see you have expertise in the subject...are you allowed to give your contact information?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,

He needs a local employment law attorney. While I am licensed in CA, I am not taking new cases now---and the Terms of JustAnswer prohibit us from representing customers of JustAnswer---I'm sorry.

If you would tell me the county that the employer's business is located in I can get you a list of employment law attorneys who handle cases in that area.

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Los Angeles, and thank you again for your assistance.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Is that downtown LA---or a neighboring city?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon Tameka,

Here is a link to a number of employment attorneys handling cases in the LA area:

http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/lawyer_dir/search/jsp/stdSearch_process.jsp?stype=BY_ADDR_OR_ZIP&keyword=employment+law&location=los+angeles%2C+ca&target=FIRM&language=Select+a+language&submit=Find+lawyers

 

 

Thank you for your kind words. They are appreciated. Please keep in mind that until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be credited with helping you.

Thanks again.

Have a great day,

Doug


LawTalk, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience: I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
LawTalk and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Tameka. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise.

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:
http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/

Thanks again.

Doug

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

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