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wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15582
Experience:  14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
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I am a federal employee at the OIG. My audit manager flew to

Customer Question

I am a federal employee at the OIG. My audit manager flew to Dallas and called me into a meeting. I noticed the recording microphone for recording on her cell phone. She tried to turn it over prior to me seeing the microphone. She asked me how I was doing and I did not say anything but made a gesture. She stated on you are making a gesture saying you are okay. I did not want to talk because I saw the recording device.
I asked her "was she recording the meeting". She looked funny and said "no." I told her I saw the micro on the telephone. She unplugged the cellphone from her computer and said "see it is off." I told her that just means your phone is no longer charging. I told her I could still see the microphone and she said she was using it early when talking to someone else. She tried to switch the microphone off the screen for a few minutes. She then kept touching the phone and stated she did not know how to get rid of the screen. After a few minutes she said see the microphone does not appear on the screen. She did not have my permission to record me and she refuse to turn off the phone. What is my recourse? When I asked her to stop this?
She said I said “CYA” in a meeting about her. I ask her explain and she said you told everyone to cover their ass and I told her I did not use those words. After a while she said I meant to say you said butt. I have proof about the conversation.
Is this criminal and what can I do?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 11 months ago.

wallstreetfighter :

Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification

wallstreetfighter :

Are you part of the Union?

wallstreetfighter :

Texas Penal Code § 16.02 makes it a felony to record any private conversation or telephone call without consent of all parties involved.
However, Texas Code Crim. Pro. Art. 18.20 allows exceptions for any conversation made in public where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

wallstreetfighter :

However, Texas makes it a crime to intercept or record any "wire, oral, or electronic communication" unless one party to the conversation consents. Texas Penal Code § 16.02. Therefore, if you operate in Texas, you may record a conversation or phone call if you are a party to the conversation or you get permission from one party to the conversation in advance

wallstreetfighter :

If she recorded the conversation and is a party to it, that would satisfy the consent requirement, as she consented.

wallstreetfighter :

You should file an HR complaint about her actions, and file a grievance with your Union if you are part of one, however because she was a party to the conversation, it would not be against the law

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 11 months ago.
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Customer: replied 11 months ago.


This was a private conservation because she closed the door for no one to hear. There were other employees in the office. She was from DC and apparently management knew the law. But I am not in a union and why did she want the door closed.

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 11 months ago.
She should have not closed the door, in terms of her actions they are clearly not professional and you should advise the employer that her actions were not justified, and that her trying to tape you without your consent was not proper and without your consent.

You should advise them that you wish to have a copy of any recording as well.
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15582
Experience: 14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
wallstreetfighter and 8 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

This conversation was not in public. Isn't a government office considered private.


 

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 11 months ago.
Federal law permits recording telephone calls and in-person conversations with the consent of at least one of the parties. See 18 U.S.C. 2511(2)(d). This is called a "one-party consent" law.

If she was not a party to the conversation and was recording your conversation with another, that would be criminal.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you so much for knowing the law. I think was a set-up because I had filed an EEO earlier on these two individuals. I requested to retire on 12-31-13. Personnel sent an email and saying they will call me to discuss my retirement request and assist with the paperwork. I hope this means I can retire in peace. My manager asked me to retirement in March. The government is too big fight and some of the actions they are allowed to take hurts. The OIG's are huge cash cows that use funds that could be put to better use. Sad the Postal Service is in financial trouble and they continue to hire and remodel offices. I just need to retire. Sitting here crying as I write this but I recognize my arms are to short to box with them.

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Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 11 months ago.
it may be retaliation for your EEO complaint, and the fact they acted this way should be brought up, and you can even consider filing a retaliation complaint.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I referred this to the Office of General Counsel and HR. Just got a response that it is referred to Special Inquiries Division. I think from your answers it just simply means the run around. They will sit on it a few weeks and nothing will happen.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.


The OIG policy says....


6. Electronic Surveillance Violations


a. Monitoring or intercepting oral or wire communications in violation of federal law.


Removal


b. Monitoring, recording, or otherwise intercepting oral or wire communications of any person during the course of activities related to postal employment through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device, or listening in on a telephone conversation, or directing another to do so, unless all parties involved in the communication are made aware of and consent to such interception.


Removal


 


Does the policy over rule what happen?

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 11 months ago.
this may apply however, this would be if she was not also recording herself, monitoring without permission is against federal law, unless a party to the conversation agrees. Since she was also a party, it would be allowed, but you should file a complaint as they may interpret it different.

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