The Rules and Risks of Recording Your Boss

Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Lisa Banks was quoted in a Washington Post article, “Can you record your boss at work without him or her knowing?

Omarosa Manigault Newman, a now former aide to President Trump, made headlines when she revealed that she had secretly recorded the president and Chief of Staff John Kelly during her time in the White House. This story has caught the attention of HR professionals and employment lawyers who have increasingly had to deal with secret recordings as part of their cases.

“With the iPhone, everybody has a tape recorder in their pocket at all time,” said Ms. Banks. “We see a lot of people coming to us with tape recorded termination meetings or tape recorded harassment. It’s just so easy to do now that it happens all the time.”

While it may be tempting for employees who feel contempt towards their boss, or as though their job is being threatened, Ms. Banks warns that there are no legal protections against an at-will employee being fired for recording a workplace conversation without authorization. “If they think I’m being dishonest and sneaky, they could decide I’m a risk.”

The ubiquity of cell phones is changing office environments and day-to-day operations. “I’m surprised that employers haven’t moved to no cellphones in meetings,” expressed Ms. Banks. “I’m surprised we don’t see that a lot more in corporate America.”

Read the full article here.