If you own an Ohio business or are employed by one, it is a good idea to understand our state’s surveillance laws. Also, when there are no state-specific laws on the books, it defaults to federal surveillance and wiretapping laws.
Ready to learn more about workplace surveillance laws in Ohio? Start here!
Surveillance is legal in public venues
Your workplace is not exempt from public surveillance laws. Business owners may install indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras to restrict shoplifting, after-hours burglaries and employee theft. With some exceptions, there is no right to privacy in most workplaces.
The exceptions can include bathrooms used by employees and the public, dressing rooms, locker rooms where employees dress and undress and patient examination rooms in hospitals and doctors’ offices. That list is not all inclusive, but it gives you an idea of just how open the surveillance laws truly are.
What about sound recordings?
Here, it does get a bit murkier. Ohio is a one-person consent state, which means that as long as one party to the conversation agrees to being recorded or records the conversation themselves, it is legal.
But if an employer decides to bug the break room to listen in on employee conversations that the workers expect to be private, this could potentially land the business owner in legal hot water.
Surveillance cameras are everywhere
By simply walking down the sidewalk of a street or driving along an interstate or highway, people are increasingly subject to surveillance.
But that doesn’t give businesses carte blanche to film and record workers and customers without any limits. Savvy company owners want to stay within the parameters of Ohio laws regarding workplace surveillance.