Many retail stores and distribution companies have surveillance systems to provide security for merchandise and inventory and to protect against theft. But what happens when those cameras are trained on employees to make sure they are on task and on schedule?
A 2005 survey found than more than 50 percent of employers use video cameras to minimize theft and burglary. However, 16 percent of the employers who responded said that their video surveillance systems were in place to monitor employee performance.
In West Virginia, employers are allowed to use video or still camera surveillance to monitor either employee or customer activities in common areas. This could include offices, lobbies, retail areas, manufacturing areas, or any other area where there is not a reasonable expectation of privacy. Employers are not required by law to post any notices indicating that the area is under surveillance. However, surveillance is prohibited in areas that are designated for the personal comfort or health of employees. This includes bathrooms, changing areas, or break areas.
In areas where surveillance is allowed, audio monitoring is still not allowed under state wiretapping laws. In West Virginia, video surveillance is allowed, but audio recording is only allowed when one party has consented to being recorded. When there is a question involving the legality of video surveillance in the workplace, the needs of the company are balanced against the employee’s reasonable expectation of privacy in that situation.
If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.
Our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304-523-8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.