Is Workplace Surveillance Legal in Georgia?

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Is Workplace Surveillance Legal in Georgia?

woman in front of surveillance computers

Many employers question the legality of workplace surveillance. No one wants to feel like they are being watched all the time, but workplace surveillance is legal under Georgia state law. While employees may have legitimate reasons for monitoring their employees it is vital that they ensure that their surveillance practices are legal, ethical, and respectful of the privacy rights of their employees. Contact an Atlanta employment rights attorney for representation and advice during your employment law case.

What is Workplace Surveillance?

Workplace surveillance is any form of employee monitoring done by employers. It can be done in the form of cameras, email monitoring, biometrics, recording websites visited, tracking the GPS in company cars, etc. While the practice is criticized by some, employers may use surveillance at work to prevent misbehavior and increase productivity among employees.

Can Employers Use Hidden Cameras?

Employers are not always legally required to notify their employees about the use of cameras for video surveillance in the office. Hidden cameras are allowed as long as the monitoring is being used for a legitimate business reason. However, it is recommended that employers are open about visual monitoring to avoid conflicts and claims of privacy infringement.

Are There Regulatory Laws?

Employees do not sacrifice all of their rights as soon as they enter the workplace. There are regulations that prevent employers from abusing their right to surveillance. Both Georgia state law and federal laws prohibit employers from filming or monitoring employees in an area where they would expect a certain level of privacy. Places where a person may have a reasonable expectation of privacy can include:

  • Bathrooms
  • Locker/changing rooms
  • Lactation rooms
  • Break rooms

Georgia is a one-party consent state, meaning that to legally record a conversation only one party involved needs to be aware and give consent. Because of this law, employers can use audio recordings if they are involved in the conversation being recorded or if they have gotten consent from one party. However, if the employer was not a participant in the conversation they cannot legally record audio without permission from one or more parties involved.

What Are the Results of Workplace Surveillance?

Monitoring employees can be beneficial for employers in several ways. Workplace surveillance can:

  • Give insight into employees’ performance
  • Identify performance issues and bottlenecks
  • Prevent theft and misconduct
  • Track productivity
  • Ensure the security of the premises and data

Although there are various advantages to monitoring employees it can also cause issues and hardships, including the following.

  • Distrust between employees and employers
  • A stressful and hostile work environment
  • Decrease in team morale due to lack of privacy
  • Stress and excessive pressure
  • Legal risks for the misuse of surveillance data

It is imperative that employers use surveillance appropriately and do not cross any legal or ethical lines. If your employment rights have been violated speak with a skilled lawyer for more information on your options.

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We base our practice on the principles of service and care. We take the time to truly know each and every client, and we put all of our energy into obtaining the best outcome possible, time and time again.

Our Definition Of Success

We will prosecute your case to the fullest extent possible. If you’ve been wronged by an employer in Georgia, you can count on Ben Barrett Law to fight for you.

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