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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12352
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I work in a county hospital an can not take phots of

Customer Question

I work in a county hospital an can not take phots of Patients without written consent Are they allowed to take my photo without my consent with a camera phone?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.
There is nothing unlawful about an employer or even co-worker taking pictures of another employee with a camera phone. This remains so even if the employee works at a hospital and even if the hospital has a policy against taking photos of patients without the patients' consent. This policy exists because of HIPAA, which protects patients of medical providers but not employees. An employee's photograph can be taken in the workplace because employees do not enjoy any special expectation of privacy in the workplace, either as established by statute or common law.
Now, just because it's not against the law to take an employee's picture does not mean the employer has to allow it. There are many things which are legal which an employer can prohibit in the workplace. So, if your employer has a policy against taking such pictures, they could lawfully discipline an employee for violating that policy. That would be entirely up to the employer, though.
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well this is very upsetting to learn. A crazy or abusive patient has the right to take a photograph of me because I am an employee and I seemed to have no rights yet I can be fired if I photograph him? How is this fair and how am I allowed confidentially too?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Comparing the rights of an employee to the rights of a patient is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. They aren't going to match up because such individuals are not similarly situated. I do agree that you are placed in an unfair position, but I fail to see how taking a picture of a patient will prove anything useful, anyway. The better course of action is proper documentation of the patient and reporting anything concerning through the proper channels at your place of employment.
Please let me know if I can do anything else to assist you.