The right to privacy is one of our most cherished rights. And yet security cameras in the workplace serve a very important purpose. Employers need to have the ability to protect their property, and assets, and to keep their employees safe, and security cameras are a great tool for accomplishing this.
There are plenty of issues to keep in mind if you are considering installing security cameras in your business. You have a right to protect your assets, yet employees have a right to a certain level of privacy.
Let’s take a look at a few things to consider before installing surveillance equipment for monitoring employees.
4 Things You Need to Know Before Installing Cameras in the Workplace
Are you thinking of installing cameras in the workplace to monitor your employees? Before you do, make sure you’re not violating any laws. Here’s everything you need to know about the lawful use of video surveillance in the workplace.
1. Employee Rights
The average employee likely understands that employers have a need to install video surveillance cameras for security purposes. However, these same employees have no desire to give up their right to a reasonable amount of privacy.
Employees should never be made to feel uncomfortable by being recorded during their most private moments. Business owners should always notify employees of the placement of surveillance cameras, and only install these cameras when there is a genuine need. And above all, hidden cameras should never be allowed.
2. Laws on Workplace Privacy
Most people would expect there to be laws on cameras in the workplace to protect their privacy. Some states, like California, have laws protecting employees from an employer installing a video camera behind mirrors, in fitting rooms, in showers, or in restrooms.
3. Privacy for Certain Workplace Activities
Believe it or not, there are no state laws that specifically prohibit video camera surveillance in the workplace. While the employer might feel a genuine need to monitor employee behavior and to provide a certain level of security, employees have the right to feel that their privacy is being protected during such activities as using the restroom, changing clothes, or during union meetings.
4. The Disadvantages
The decision to install security cameras in the workplace is not something to be taken lightly. It can very easily create an environment of paranoia and distrust among employees. Employees naturally don’t like the feeling that they are being monitored at all times, and this can have a direct impact on the quality of employee performance as well as employee retention.
Know the Law Before Installing Security Cameras
If you’re an employer, be sure to educate yourself on your state’s privacy laws before installing video cameras in the workplace. It’s crucial to make ensure that your employees feel that you value their right to privacy while at the same time having the ability to protect your assets.
Try to find a balance between privacy and security that will make everyone feel comfortable.
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