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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118789
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My husband works youth shelter. Recently, he was accused of

Customer Question

My husband works for a youth shelter. Recently, he was accused of not doing his job properly. He set up a game camera, outside of the premises, just in case the youth climbed out the window and left -- with the sole purpose of being able to give an exact time & description to the police. We believe one of the youth left, found the camera, took it & turned him in to his supervisor. He has been put on administrative leave, and being told he broke the law. Everything in my research seems to point to him not breaking a law because the camera was outside of the building, not recording minors, and only filming a walkway/driveway (in 10 second intervals when something triggered the camera). My husband says he never saw any of the youth ever while he had it up. Do we need to worry about legal ramifications? Also, wouldn't the person who still has the game camera be liable for theft since it hasn't been returned?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If your husband was recording video and no audio and was not recording in private areas such as the minor's rooms, then he did not break any laws regarding unauthorized recordings in CA or under federal law. The person who took the camera is liable for a theft if law enforcement or the employer does not have the camera and turn it over after the investigation. There is nothing wrong with recording outside of the premises and there is no law in CA against this.

Now, the recording may be a violation of the employer's rules and policy and they could take action against his employment for that, but it is not against the law and he could not be prosecuted or charged with any crime for this.