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  1. #1
    kristi1025 is offline Junior Member
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    Question Employee/Employer secretly recording conversation?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    Is it against the law for someone you work with, or your employer to record face to face conversations via digital recorder, etc. without your knowledge?

    If so, is it civil or criminal?
  2. #2
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristi1025 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    Is it against the law for someone you work with, or your employer to record face to face conversations via digital recorder, etc. without your knowledge?

    If so, is it civil or criminal?
    **A: did something like this actually happen to you? If so, please state the facts.
  3. #3
    kristi1025 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeGuru View Post
    **A: did something like this actually happen to you? If so, please state the facts.
    Yes. Husband and I both work at the same place and have conversations from time to time in husband's office. We kept noticing that the boss would know about things that were only spoken in husband's office between us and to noone else. Today, husband heard a low battery tone but couldn't find anything, when husband asked co-worker if he heard the beeping, he said yes, husband left office leaving co-worker in the office and when he returned, beeping ceased. Husband found possible location under his desk where something had been and palm print on the floor mat under his desk. We believe co-worker is maliciously attacking our reputations and reporting bad information to the boss using these recordings. Although, not sure whether or not the boss knows about it or not. Husband rec'd a message from the boss after this incident today stating "install your cameras and find out".
  4. #4
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Perhaps you shouldn't be discussing personal matters at work...
  5. #5
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristi1025 View Post
    Yes. Husband and I both work at the same place and have conversations from time to time in husband's office. We kept noticing that the boss would know about things that were only spoken in husband's office between us and to noone else. Today, husband heard a low battery tone but couldn't find anything, when husband asked co-worker if he heard the beeping, he said yes, husband left office leaving co-worker in the office and when he returned, beeping ceased. Husband found possible location under his desk where something had been and palm print on the floor mat under his desk. We believe co-worker is maliciously attacking our reputations and reporting bad information to the boss using these recordings. Although, not sure whether or not the boss knows about it or not. Husband rec'd a message from the boss after this incident today stating "install your cameras and find out".
    **A: thank you. Now sit back and wait for others to respond.
  6. #6
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Google is your friend:

    [url]http://www.rcfp.org/taping/states/texas.html[/url]

    Texas Penal Code § 16.02: So long as a wire, oral or electronic communication — including the radio portion of any cordless telephone call — is not recorded for a criminal or tortious purpose, anyone who is a party to the communication, or who has the consent of a party, can lawfully record the communication and disclose its contents.

    Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. See definition of "oral communication," Texas Code Crim. Pro. Art. 18.20.

    Unlawful recording of a conversation, or disclosure of its contents with reason to know of the illegal interception, is a felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Texas Penal Code § 12.33. A civil cause of action is expressly authorized for unlawful interception or disclosure. Texas Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 123.002. The plaintiff may be entitled to $10,000 for each occurrence, actual damages in excess of $10,000, punitive damages and attorney fees and costs. Texas Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 123.004.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans (5th Cir.) held in 2000 that a television station and reporter who had been given illegally obtained tapes of telephone conversations, but who had not participated in the illegal recording, could nonetheless be held civilly liable under the federal and Texas wiretapping statutes. Peavy v. WFAA-TV, Inc., 221 F.3d 158 (5th Cir. 2000). The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court along with two other cases raising similar issues. The Supreme Court refused to hear the Texas case but decided in one of the other cases, Bartnicki v. Vopper, that media defendants could not be held liable for publishing information of public concern that was obtained unlawfully by a source where the media were blameless in the illegal interception. Following the Bartnicki decision, the parties in the Peavy case settled out of court.



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  7. #7
    kristi1025 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    Perhaps you shouldn't be discussing personal matters at work...

    Zigner, who said these were conversations regarding personal matters? You assume incorrectly.

    Thanks to everyone for your answers. I appreciate it.
  8. #8
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristi1025 View Post
    Yes. Husband and I both work at the same place and have conversations from time to time in husband's office. We kept noticing that the boss would know about things that were only spoken in husband's office between us and to noone else. Today, husband heard a low battery tone but couldn't find anything, when husband asked co-worker if he heard the beeping, he said yes, husband left office leaving co-worker in the office and when he returned, beeping ceased. Husband found possible location under his desk where something had been and palm print on the floor mat under his desk. We believe co-worker is maliciously attacking our reputations and reporting bad information to the boss using these recordings. Although, not sure whether or not the boss knows about it or not. Husband rec'd a message from the boss after this incident today stating "install your cameras and find out".
    Sure sounds "personal." You wrote that these were matters known ONLY TO you and your H. Pretty personal.
  9. #9
    Tallrat is offline Member
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    Does it matter if they were discussing "Whats for Supper" or "Nuclear Physics" ? I have conversations with people at work all the time that only the person I'm with and myself know about and it's work related. Not that should matter anyway
  10. #10
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallrat View Post
    Does it matter if they were discussing "Whats for Supper" or "Nuclear Physics" ? I have conversations with people at work all the time that only the person I'm with and myself know about and it's work related. Not that should matter anyway
    Tell me...what expectation of privacy do you have on your employer's premises?
  11. #11
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    According to SJ's post, if NEITHER party in the conversation consented, then the recording would be illegal. But without proof, pressing charges would be difficult.
  12. #12
    Tallrat is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    Tell me...what expectation of privacy do you have on your employer's premises?
    If I am being tape recorded with out my knowledge they better have a warrant. And again, What they were talking about has nothing to do with the question.

    The question was

    Is it against the law for someone you work with, or your employer to record face to face conversations via digital recorder, etc. without your knowledge? If so, is it civil or criminal?
    They were asking for a legal opinion not some snotty, has nothing to do with remarks from someone who thinks it's cool to badger common folk who ask politely for free advice. You don't look cool, you look like a jerk.

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