Q. One of our employees secretly did an audio recording of hismeeting with his iPhone. Is that legal? — J.N., Illinois
A. It depends which state you're in. The majority of states currently have single-party consent laws that permit anyone to record a conversation without another’s consent. Some states, such as Illinois, require that all parties consent to the recording. Those states include California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.
The growth of smartphones has made it easier for employees to secretly record conversations. And smartphones with cameras also increase the risk that employees can take and distribute photos or videos of the workplace, co-workers, or clients, raising potential privacy and proprietary business concerns.
As a result, your company should consider a policy prohibiting unauthorized audio recording, videotaping or photography in the workplace. That could prevent such conduct in the future and better position your company to discipline employees who violate the policy. Run your proposed policy by counsel to make sure it complies with state law.
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