Video Surveillance South Florida
It is a fact that many employers choose to use technology such as video cameras to monitor their employees in order to prevent theft or for other security reasons. In fact, according to the American Management Association, 48% of employers use video monitoring in order to prevent violence, sabotage or to counter theft, and 7% say they use it to gauge worker’s performance.
In most cases, that is permitted as long as the employees know about the video surveillance. The laws are different depending on the state. Some states are stricter than others when it comes to allowing video surveillance in workplaces.
In South Florida and in Florida in general, the laws cover areas such as coercion, expectation of privacy, consent to record and also the liability of the person who put up the cameras. Expectation of privacy means that a person, in this case an employee, has the right to expect privacy in certain circumstances, in this case in the workplace, and that it is an infringement of the person’s rights if the privacy is invaded. Expectation of privacy might also pertain to other places such as changing rooms, bathrooms, or locker rooms. In the last mentioned places, the laws effective in South Florida say that it is illegal to perform a video surveillance in them under narrowly defined circumstances.
As mentioned, for video surveillance to be legal, consent of the surveilled person or of the owner of the property where the video surveillance is to be performed is required and must be obtained. As an example, if you are a tenant and want to install a video surveillance system in the house where you live, you can only do so after the owner of the house has given you permission to do so.
In addition, in Florida all involved parties must agree on the video surveillance if it is to be illegal. For example, if video surveillance systems are installed in a store, there should be a prominent and clearly visible sign on the front door saying that if you go shopping in the store, you are essentially giving consent to the store owner to videotape you. Another example can be a hospital or an interview by the police. In all these cases, consent of the person being interviewed or treated must be obtained if video surveillance is to be performed legally.
Some situations are governed by federal law rather than state law. For example, the National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for employers to use video cameras for the purpose of monitoring union activities of their employees. These activities can be anything from union meetings, conversations relating to the union, etc. Again consent of the employees is required.
In order to get a more detailed understanding of how the laws governing the use of video surveillance work in South Florida, it is a good idea to get in touch with a lawyer experienced in this field who will answer all of your questions for you.