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Can a Co-Worker record your conversation at work in pa?

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So I was talking to a fellow coworker in our office about my personal situation. Another employee which is the manager's pet decided to record my conversation. Not really sure where she was but I will say she wasn't part of the conversation neither was I talking about something i wasn't supose to. 2 days later I was called into the office by my manager. He started by saying that my "Big ass mouth got me transfered cause I have a 7 min recording of you talking in the office" 1st I wasn't cursing or bad mouthing anyone during the conversation. So what can he bring me up on? 2nd I was talking about my personal situation not anyone else's. No law states you can talk about yourself. So he threatens to fire me and then calls me a bitch numorus times. He cursed me out and called me names. He threaten me with this so called recorded about 5x. I begged not to fire me even through i wasn't in the wrong. He said he would use the tape to fire me if I don't work as he wants me to work. Saying i'm not allowed to speak at work and I have to do whatever he says. So my question is... Can she record the coversation without being part of the conversation and never had consent? Also Can the boss recieve the recording and use it in this manner?

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It's a crime to record a conversation with someone without their consent in PA; it's an all-party consent state.  It follows that someone not a party to the conversation shouldn't be recording another's conversation.

 

I'd feel free to talk with law enforcement, but note that someone may decide not to prosecute.  Not clear what the "threat" entailed as it relates to firing, but I'd feel free to bring that up as well.

 

I'd also feel free to talk with the EEOC and state equivalent if this person routinely uses the b-word in conversation, which smacks of unlawful discrimination/harassment based on gender (cursing isn't unlawful, naturally). 

 

Any "can" question is merely what is possible, not what is lawful v. unlawful, by the way.

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Guest FindLaw_Amir

You may be interested in reading the Pennsylvania Recording Law. To learn more about your rights as an employee, you may visit the Employment Law Center as a good resource. If you need further clarification on your specific situation, you may consider signing up for a LegalStreet plan. With the plan, you have unlimited access to a local lawyer to ask your questions and the plan also offers discounted legal representation should you need it.

Disclosure: LegalStreet and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.
 

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Can she record the coversation without being part of the conversation and never had consent? Also Can the boss recieve the recording and use it in this manner?

 

It is a violation of both federal law and the law of pretty much every state to record a private conversation if the person doing the recording is not a party to the conversation and does not have the permission of any party to the conversation. Some states require the consent of all parties to the conversation. PA is one of those states (your subject line indicates that PA is where the recording took place).

 

If was a violation of federal and/or state law, you may make a criminal complaint with the local police for the state law violation and the FBI for the federal violation. However, don't be suprised if they decline to pursue it. This would not be a high priority crime for them to pursue with the limited resources law enforcement and prosecutors receive. But it costs you only a little time to make the complaint, so you have little to lose there.

 

As for your boss using the tape to give you grief about talking at work, no law prevents that. While a recording that was illegally obtained cannot be used as evidence in court, the law doesn't preclude people from using it for other things.

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Wow, I hope you people are not lawyers giving these answers! Every time that tape is published by anyone other than both consenting parties, it is unlawful. In most two party consent states the recording is legally the property of the non-consenting party, and if published without consent, both criminal and civil action can be pursued. I live in Florida (two party Consent) and the State Attorney in my circuit will/does prosecute such an unlawful instance. As for your boss, after you seek criminal and civil action against the individual whom tape the conversation, ask him if your employer supports the criminal activity that took place in the workplace and the use of the illegal tape against you. Something tells me your employer/boss will change their tune. If your boss-has-a-boss, go all the way up the chain of command.

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Wow, I hope you people are not lawyers giving these answers! 

 

And what, exactly, do you disagree with regarding the answers that were given? What you stated certainly doesn't contradict what else has been said here after all.

 

 

I live in Florida (two party Consent) and the State Attorney in my circuit will/does prosecute such an unlawful instance.

 

That’s great, but as you hopefully know the law in each state is different and each prosecutor’s office within a state will have different priorities. You are in Florida, a state that is much different than PA, where evidently the OP is located. I used to live and work in PA — the prosecutors where I was would not rate an illegal taping case very highly unless some significant damages were caused to one of the participants to the conversation as a result of the taping. That's been true of the other places in which I have lived, too. The situation described in the OP's post isn't one that would generate much interest in any of those prosecutor’s offices. Perhaps a prosecutor in an office that has very little to do would jump on it as something more interesting than, say, a jaywalking case. In larger population centers where the prosecutors have murders, rapes, assaults, robberies, all kinds of theft offenses, and the like, an illegal taping case is not likely to be pursued without some significant harm resulting from it.  As I said before, the OP can make the complaint. It’s not hard to do, and maybe something would be done. But, again, he shouldn’t be suprised if nothing comes of it. 

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gDavidws can you provide me with that Florida statute? I live in Orlando,Florida and someone in my husbands department recorded a private conversation he was having with a co-worker in his shop. The person who recorded the conversation was not present during the conversation but somehow set up a recording device in the shop which captured the conversation. The person who recorded the conversation went around and let the whole shop listen to it. In the conversation my husband made fun of another co-worker and now the organization is trying to use the recording against him in an effort to fire him.  I need statutory law that states that it is illegal to record someones conversations without consent, especially since the person who recorded it was not present for it.  

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"Regardless of the law, does the recording party have to advise they are recording and request your consent to record?"

Your question isn't computing in terms of "regardless of the law" -- the law is what matters.  :)  If it's an all-party consent state, yes; if it's a one-party consent state, no, a party to the conversation wouldn't need to tell you or ask your consent before recording you.  And please note that where this conversation takes place and circumstances can matter in terms of whether a violation will be likely to be prosecuted (roughly, think of "there's an exception to every rule"). 

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gDavidws can you provide me with that Florida statute? I live in Orlando,Florida and someone in my husbands department recorded a private conversation he was having with a co-worker in his shop. The person who recorded the conversation was not present during the conversation but somehow set up a recording device in the shop which captured the conversation. The person who recorded the conversation went around and let the whole shop listen to it. In the conversation my husband made fun of another co-worker and now the organization is trying to use the recording against him in an effort to fire him.  I need statutory law that states that it is illegal to record someones conversations without consent, especially since the person who recorded it was not present for it.  

 

The Florida statute is 934.03 at:

 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0900-0999/0934/0934ContentsIndex.html&StatuteYear=2010&Title=%2D%3E2010%2D%3EChapter%20934

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Jeanne, you've posted your issue as a response to someone else's unrelated thread where the party you're talking to last posted a several months ago. 

 

At any rate, unless your husband has some kind of contract guaranteeing employment for a particular length of time that indicates the company needs a reason to let him go, they don't need to manufacture a reason.  (It may be that they want to argue misconduct so they can convince the state not to award him unemployment benefits, but we can't know from here.)

The fact that the recording was unlawful may not help you with the underlying problem.  If it's worthwhile, your husband should talk with local counsel (I for one wouldn't want to continue working somewhere I wasn't wanted, or with jerks that would twist an unlawful recording to their own advantage, even if your husband was acting out improperly when being made fun of).

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