Texas Invasion of Privacy Laws. When it comes to footage from hidden cameras and recordings made by everyday citizens, these have all become extremely important evidence as part of numerous lawsuits that are filed. This is especially the case when it comes to various employment lawsuits, where employees often present audio, video, and photos as evidence of multiple factors such as wage violations, hostile work environments, and other acts that are deemed as being unlawful.
Here are some of the most common facts regarding video surveillance laws in the workplace in the state of Texas.
Texas Laws on Commercial Surveillance
Aside from a few exceptions, which vary depending on the state in which you currently reside, no federal laws are currently in place regarding the prohibition of video surveillance in the workplace. In the state of Texas, the “one-party consent” law is in effect, which means that unless at least one of the parties involved in a conversation consents, it is illegal to record an audio conversation if the parties have “a reasonable expectation of privacy.” This is due to federal wiretapping laws. Additionally, these same laws also prohibit employers from either recording or monitoring some communications between employees. This is something that can also restrict the use of audio recordings in video cameras.
In nearly all cases, employers are legally required to notify employees regarding video surveillance in the business. This includes information regarding the surveillance policy and where all security cameras are located. This is a notice that should typically be provided in writing, and employers should also obtain written confirmation of employees, which dictates both their consent and understanding to be recorded while on the clock.
When it comes to hidden cameras, these are considered to be a violation of workplace privacy law in practically any circumstance. While the use of hidden cameras have been found by some courts to be legal under highly specific circumstances, other states have outright banned the devices.
Texas Invasion of Privacy Laws. When it comes to customers, businesses generally are not required to disclose the existence of security cameras to customers; however, if they wish to do so, then they can. Typical U.S. video surveillance laws permit both monitoring and recording in areas that feature no “reasonable exception of privacy,” as well as most areas in which customers go that are considered to be shared or public spaces. Security cameras are not, however, permitted in the following areas of a business:
On the other hand, security cameras are permitted in these areas if there is a public notice that states the cameras are present.