Does Video Monitoring Violate Your Employees Privacy Rights?

Last week a small business owner asked me, “If I use video monitoring in my business, does this violate my employee’s privacy rights?”  Great question!  The short answer is No. The federal law does not prevent video monitoring even when the employees do not know or consent to being monitored.

Let me dig deeper into this question.

According to the US Department of Commerce, employee theft contributes to 30% of the small business failures. While employees have a legitimate right to workplace privacy, it must be balanced with the right of the employer to protect themselves from employee actions that may harm their business.

The Benefits of Video Monitoring

Installing video monitoring in the work place will usually reduce theft and crimes that may occur in your work place.

You can use video monitoring to evaluation employee performance.

Workers’ comp experts say cameras can be effective in preventing fraud. Rebecca Shafer, president of Amaxx Risk Solutions Inc. in Hartford, Connecticut, said major retailers such as the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc. have used security footage to help investigate comp and liability claims.

Many business insurance companies offer business insurance discounts when you install security cameras.

The Disadvantages of Video Monitoring

The biggest disadvantage is video monitoring creates a potential for litigation and claims involving invasion of privacy.

Unions do have the right to negotiate in their collective bargaining process the use of video monitoring.

You never want to install video monitoring in bathroom or changing places.  It is always safer to avoid hidden cameras.

 Best Practice

Your best practice is to ensure employees are aware about the information  collected from  video monitoring.  There may be situations when a particular employee is not made aware of the video monitoring, such as suspected employee theft.

If you are considering video monitoring for your business, give us a call.  We will explain all of your options so you can take advantage of video monitoring while eliminating the disadvantages.