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Recording Conversations in the Workplace: Consent and Wiretap Laws, Employer Prohibition, NLRA, Alternatives

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will advise employment counsel on the risks of surveillance and covert recording in the workplace. The panel will discuss the various state requirements related to wiretap laws and when only one party needs to consent versus when all parties must agree to the recording. The panel will address the issues of total prohibition by employers and the risk of violations of the National Labor Relations Act, as well as best practices in developing a policy for employees.


Many employers use cameras and video surveillance in the workplace to prevent theft, measure productivity, or monitor what employees are doing while on the clock. As long as the company has a legitimate need to record, the areas under surveillance are public, and employees know about the recording, these practices are likely to be upheld by a court.

State law typically governs the rights of employees to record other employees or bosses. More than 30 states have the one-party consent rule, while California, Washington, Florida, and a few other states require that every person being recorded permit the recording. These "all consent" states make it for company security, a supervisor, or an employee to record a conversation secretly. Recording without permission in an all consent states can lead to criminal liability for the employer or employee and exclusion of the tapes as evidence in dispute or lawsuit, such as employee theft, discrimination, or harassment.

Even if a particular state has not passed laws that protect workplace privacy, employers generally cannot audio or video record employees in certain work areas, such as in a restroom or locker room.

Listen as our expert panel discusses surveillance in the workplace, employees' rights to record employers, notice obligations, risks and benefits, and how to address claims initiated through potentially unlawful recording on the job.



  1. Recording conversations in the workplace
    1. Consent and wiretap laws
    2. Employer prohibition
    3. NLRA
    4. Alternatives to recording
  2. Adopting best practices and employment policies


The panel will address these and other key topics:

  • Limits on employer surveillance and recording
  • Can employers ask employees if they are recording?
  • What disciplinary actions may result from recording?
  • What issues can arise if a recording in an all consent state reveals liability?
  • What are the best practices for creating a recording policy, and what alternatives exist?


Forsey, Morgan
Morgan Forsey

Sheppard Mullin

Ms. Forsey handles all facets of the litigation and trial process in labor and employment disputes. She has significant...  |  Read More

Phippen, David
David P. Phippen

Senior Counsel
Constangy Brooks Smith & Prophete

Mr. Phippen represents businesses in a full range of labor, employment and transportation matters. He has experience in...  |  Read More

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