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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13895
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Is it against the law to go through someone's phone? I

Customer Question

Is it against the law to go through someone's phone? I accidentally left my phone at work last Wednesday and found out the owner's wife and a coworker went through my texts. Also, is it illegal to record a conversation at work without the employee's knowledge?
JA: Was this discussed with a manager, HR, or an attorney?
Customer: My manager is the owner of the store, His wife and a coworker went through the phone. He's the one that told me about it but he won't do anything about it.
JA: Is the employment "at will," union, full time, or part time?
Customer: At will
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. As state laws vary, what state is this in, please?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Wisconsin
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

With respect to recordings, Wisconsin is a "one party" consent state. Individuals may legally record a conversation to which they are a party so long as one of the parties to the communication consents to the recording. In other words, if you and your boss are having a conversation, either one of you may record it without the knowledge or consent of the other, because you're a party to the conversation.

There's no law making it illegal to go through a person's cell phone, but there could be a civil claim for invasion of privacy, if you were harmed in any way. It would also depend on the circumstances -going through the phone quickly to try and find out whom it belongs to likely wouldn't be viewed as an invasion of privacy, whereas reading through messages and listening to voicemails, etc. likely would be.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 3 months ago.

You're most welcome. Please remember to leave a positive rating by clicking on the stars at the top of the page. Thank you!

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 months ago.

Was there any additional information I could provide you, or anything I could clarify? If so, please REPLY WITHOUT RATING, and I'll be happy to assist further. If I've answered your question, please remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars. Thank you.