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Is "bugging" an office legal?

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My husband recently started a new job as an area manager for a mortgage company. Before starting, he knew this one particular woman (Rhoda) was trouble. Her boyfriend was the former manager and got fired for manipulating and embezzling. You may recall the story, as I wrote about a month ago -- but the situation has gotten much worse. Last week my husband's boss told him they had received anonymous tapes of him during an 8-10 hour day. His private office was taped by someone (we think Rhoda but have no proof) and sent to all upper management. My husband had said nothing derogatory or incriminating on the tape, but one employee in his office said something to the effect of, "I'd like to beat up Rhoda next time I see her in the hallway." Everyone in the office hates this woman. Well, Rhoda miraculously received these tapes, also "anonymously", and then took a 2 week leave citing mental anguish. As she is the only loan processor, the whole month's deals got delayed due to her absence. Management won't fire her as they're worried about her suing. She and her boyfriend have done other underhanded things trying to get my husband fired, but nothing this outrageous. My husband wants this woman GONE and is fed up and ready to get another job. His boss is quite wimpy it seems, never wanting to rock the boat. We have contacted the police and the FBI but they said there's nothing they can do. Any ideas? Help! Thank you so much for your time.


Marcia M

The surreptious recording of conversations is criminal in many states. (Remember that Linda Tripp is facing criminal charges in Maryland for taping Monica's calls.)

This matter is one that you are not handling well. Your husband has a real enemy and there is something going on that will hurt him.

I suggest that you and he go to an employment lawyer in a large city near where you live (AttorneyPages.com lists some) and BUY an hour or two of time from the attorney and get a plan of action. It may be that the lawyer will send a letter to the CEO of the parent company, or know how to get the police involved, or take it to the media, or something. Or it may be that the lawyer will say "leave and get a new job -- the economy is hot and it is time to move on". But this is going on too long and it is too upsetting and life is too short to have it fester.

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