Q. We plan to start having supervisors listen in on trainees’ phone conversations with customers. Do we have to inform the caller that we’re listening? We think the “this call may be recorded” message makes the call less authentic?
A. You need to notify the caller. The reach of the federal wiretapping statute (18 U.S.C. Section 2510 et seq.) is broad and prohibits you from intentionally or purposefully intercepting, disclosing or using the contents of any wire, oral or electronic communication through the use of a device. Listening in on a live call would be considered an “interception,” under this statute. (Recording calls may also violate the laws of your state, if your state law requires both parties to a conversation to agree to the taping.)
The simple solution is to notify people that calls may be monitored or recorded. It is important to use the information only for legitimate business purposes, but training should meet that standard.
Louis P. DiLorenzo is chair of the Department at Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, and a managing partner of the firm’s New York City and Garden City offices. In addition to representing employers and in all aspects of labor and employment law, he is an author and frequent speaker on employment law.