Security Cameras

So my question I know having security cameras in your establishment is legal, BUT is it legal is have your camera record “AUDIO”. I want to install an audio/video camera at my register for security issues, but need to know if its legal to record audio

The answer is, “Maybe”. But it would be best to consult an attorney in your area. Each state has different guidelines regarding the recording on audio. In some states (like mine in Florida) you need all party consent, so the individual having their audio recorded would have to consent too. In other states you only need one party of the conversation to consent to the recording of audio (which could be you and your employees). Both of thse become an issue because even if you are in a one party consent state and you record a conversation between two employees that you are not a part of you have violated the law. Even further if all of your employees consented and two customers are having a conversation, you are in violation of the law.

On that note, however, I recently was at a local Walmart getting gas and noticed a display that their survellience cameras were recording audio and visual. I am not sure if that protects them or not, but I am assuming since it’s Walmart their legal team made sure of it, nor would I trust that I know all the particulars that make it legal (it could be more to it than just a posted notice.)

So as I said, there is no concrete answer, and your best bet would be to bite the bullet and pay an attorney to give you location specific information to the question, as well as provide any documentation needed to protect you. However, if that is entirely out of the question I would recommend the “better not” attitude, but nonetheless here is a site with useful information on the consent laws for you to make your own decision. http://beaconbulletin.com/2014/01/06/state-by-state-audio-recording-laws/

I hope this helps!

That was my thought as well, I just took a call from my attorney & he stated it is in fact “legal” to have “audio” recording cameras, from a legal stand point it helps me as a business owner, for example if a customer threatens my life or worse also in robbery situations, I have audio of the robber, so Im all good with the talk I had with my attorney, I don’t plan on audio in the rest of the shop, just at the register

Daisy, obviously I am not a lawyer but I would make some further inquiries as to that statement from your attorney. Here’s what concerns:

If you are in an All Party Consent state, the aforementioned is definitely illegal (unless there is more to it that you discussed, that he stated makes it legal). If you are in a Single Party Consent state, the aforementioned would be legal ONLY if you are involved in the conversation. Again if two customers walk in and you record a part of their conversation, you are violating the single party consent. The same would be true of an employee having a conversation with a customer or other employees, unless they all signed agreements on it. But the first incident of two customers (a husband and wife, two friends, whatever the case may be) having a conversation while you are in the walk in, or in the back of the store etc, they could claim a reasonable expecation of privacy to their conversation.

Just a thought to consider.

Just post a sign in the window near your front door saying that video and audio recording is in use.

I too would ask further questions about the legality and use of it.
I know this isn’t the same but. . A while back I asked a person in the know if I could record the phone conversations without letting the customer know they were being recorded, just wanted it for training purposes. The answer was yes legally I could do that HOWEVER. . .without the customer knowing I could never use that as evidence in a court of law.
It would suck if your video/audio recording was your primary evidence of a robbery, but because of laws you couldn’t submit it as evidence to convict the robber.

I spoke with my attorney more, I even spoke to the labor department & my local police department, all is legal as long as 1 person on the recording knows that there is audio being recorded “HENCE” my employees. As long as I have a sign at the register & the door, Also even if the customers coming into the shop have their “BLINDERS” on I’m in the legal right…

Now on the other hand, I was speaking with my attorney about this and my GM who just came back from back surgery, I had mentioned to her as to what I was doing, she threw an absolute fit, and said she was putting in her 2 weeks notice because of it, my attorney laughed & said so what is she soooo afraid of ??? is she dealing drugs out of the store, is she talking ill of me (the owner) to the customers, whats her deal, as long as my employees are aware of the device I am within my legal rights as an owner to protect my property, so I spoke to my other employees and they have absolutely told me they could care less about it. My attorney stated they do not have to sign anything either stating they are aware of it. I also was speaking to my local contractor who will be installing my new system, I told him about my GM, he said if any of his employees acted the way she(my GM) did he would fire them on the spot…

This is the same person you were worried about a few weeks ago? I think it is time to say goodbye.

I agree with Daddio! do not put up with that!

Get her two weeks in writing and than tell her you are releasing her from her obligation to work those final two weeks, thank her, and send her on the way. I have my cameras and my audio, my employees work as if I’m in the store all day with them. It’s all about integrity.

Daddio: yes this is the same person, its all done with, she came in to work Thursday and handed me her paper from the surgeon & said she was putting in her 2 weeks because of her back yet her Dr released her stating she could work. I told her she already gave me 2 weeks notice last week because of my new upgrade in security I was installing & she told me if I still plan on installing in then she was quitting, then I told her fine, what ever & she walked out on one of my busiest nites & left me by myself… Im just glad its all over with & I can move on with business, already hired replacement & I notified my accountant of her quitting & I was told she will not be able to collect unemployment because she quit THATS FINE WITH ME :slight_smile:

ha! you already have her replaced!! yeah she sure did show you hu? she was prob stealing anyway…that’s what i love about cameras and pos systems if you use them right you can catch anything.