Is Video Surveillance Allowed in Workplaces?

A lot of people have asked this question recently, and I thought it would be a good subject for this week’s blog.

In most cases, the answer is YES, as long as the employer can justify the need (high-priced items that are subject to shoplifting, outside surveillance of property, etc).

There are a few things that you need to consider when installing video surveillance in your workplace.

 -First and foremost, involve your employees in the decision-making process.  They can assist with the placement of the cameras, and by involving them in the process they are less likely to complain that it is unfair or unjust.

 -Make sure that private areas such as washrooms and change rooms are not visible in the camera view.  The doorway can be viewed, for entrance and exit purposes or as part of a hallway view, but never the interior of the room.

 -Any area that is under video surveillance must be a “public” area.  Private offices and workstations should never be subject to video surveillance unless absolutely necessary (i.e. counting cash).

-Video should only record general activities of employees, not personal time such as lunch breaks.

 -Most importantly, be prepared to justify your reason(s) for using video surveillance.  If you can’t justify, you can’t use.

 Always seek advice from a qualified lawyer when preparing to install these systems to ensure your employee’s rights are not violated.