May 12, 2021

The Do’s and Don’ts of video surveillance in the workplace

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Privacy concept: Golden Cctv Camera on digital background, 3d render

Privacy concept: Golden Cctv Camera on digital background, 3d render

By Marlisse Silver Sweeney, From Corporate Counsel

Using surveillance videos to fire employees caught stealing is one thing. Using the same videos to publicly shame the terminated staff and deter others from following suit is another thing entirely. According to Bloomberg, workers at warehouses have been privy to some unique TV programs lately. The company installed flat-screen TVs displaying alleged offenders with the word “terminated” across their blackened silhouettes, along with details of what they stole and its value.

“While generally employers are permitted to use video surveillance without audio in workplace locations where employees do not have an expectation of privacy … whether or not such surveillance is permitted is a matter of state law,” says Catherine Barbieri of Fox Rothschild. She notes Amazon received lots of criticism for its recent tactics.

She also notes it’s imperative for employers to ensure they have “an iron-clad case against employees” for theft or other rule violations before making the conduct public. “An employer could open itself up to allegations of defamation or slander per se if it accuses an employee wrongfully of theft outside of the core management or supervisor group,” she explains.

IMAGE: Credit: Fotolia

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