Is it legal for my employer to record audio?

When you go shopping do you expect that a camera is watching you? What about when you are at the bank or a museum? All of these places seem like reasonable locations to have cameras monitoring the premises. But what about your job? Do you expect to have a camera watching you while you work? In Florida, for the most part, employers are allowed to record their employees. However, certain exceptions apply. In Florida, employers are prohibited from audio recording their employees without their knowledge and any oral communication cannot be intercepted without the employee’s consent. Florida law emphasizes on the “reasonable expectation of privacy.” This means that where an employee reasonably expects their conversation to be private, an employer’s audio recording is an intrusion on their privacy. For example, a waitress who steps outside the restaurant they work at has a reasonable expectation of privacy and expects their employer is not audio recording their call. In such instances, an employer is prohibited from audio recording their employee because they have this reasonable expectation of privacy. 

While your employer or boss cannot audio record you where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, this does not mean they cannot use video surveillance. As a general rule, employers can legally monitor almost anything their employees do at work as long as the reason for monitoring is important enough for the business. For example, if you work at an office where there is a video surveillance camera in the open seating area, your employer may justify their right to do so because of security reasons; this alone is enough to allow your employer to do so. 

As an employee, you also cannot record your employer without their consent. this is because some states, including Florida, require consent from all parties involved. These are generally referred to as “all-party consent states,” meaning that you are required to have permission from all individuals you intend to and actually do record. Nonetheless, as a general rule, you cannot record conversations with your boss (or anyone else for that matter) without their permission or consent. 

Can I sue my employer for non-consensual audio recording?

If your employer is audio recording you without your consent, you may be entitled to legal remedies. This of course depends on the state in which you reside in because some states, unlike Florida, are one-party consent states. In Florida, if your employer is audio recording you in the workplace such as at your desk, office, or any location you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, they may be criminally liable for a violation of Florida Statute 934.03 – 934.09. However, Florida law also recognizes a civil cause of action for a violation of this statute. This means that you can bring a civil cause of action for this invasion of privacy and are entitled to seek compensation for injuries caused by this intrusion on your privacy. 

As a general rule, employees should always be cautious of what they say and do at work. While you can expect that your employer has a video camera recording you, this does not give them the right to also record the audio of such surveillance. 

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Oscar Gomez

Oscar A. Gomez is a Partner and Chair of the Litigation Practice Group at EPGD Business Law. His practice focuses on Business Litigation, including but not limited to Business & Partnership Disputes.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

28 Responses

  1. I am a pet sitter in Florida. I enter many homes that have cameras with audio. I would like to know what the law is concerning that I am being recorded in their home while taking care of their animals. Many times I am speaking on my phone with clients And my own employees, as well as their pets. I consider that if I am in their home alone, I have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Is this true? If so, what is the Florida law that proves this? I need legal facts when speaking to existing and potential new clients regarding this.

    1. Generally speaking, Florida law requires the homeowner to notify you beforehand if the camera picks up both video and audio due to the fact that Florida is a two party consent state.

  2. I work in an office alone in Florida. Company headquarters are in VA and my regional manager is in Alabama. There are no other employees with me. Contractors come in by appointment so I’m alone 99% of the time. There is a camera in my office and I have had no concern about that because it is work, I just work there. Today, however, I learned that there is also voice on the camera. For the last 4 months, all my conversations have been overheard by I don’t know who! I feel violated and feel somehow this has got to be wrong. I’ve paid bills over the phone and had sensitive personal conversations while working because I believed I was the only person in the room and only heard on the other end of the phone. I do not have private conversations on my office phone or work cell for this very reason. I found out in the process of moving something in the office. My employer has not told me about their recording and the fact that they call all hear me talk in the office when I think I’m alone.

    1. Hello,

      Thank you for your message. If you would like to discuss this further, please email office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

  3. Can a GM of a hotel monitor your on cctv thru a live feed on their phone from home? I understand if they monitor you while they are at work on a work computer or dvr but to have a live feed of the work cameras on his phone and being monitored while he is at home is a bit odd and disturbing. Is this something that is legal or is he pushing it?

    1. I would just like an answer. If he could monitor us from his personal phone or not. Reason i ask, cause i would feel weird knowing he can see me from home while i work and for all i know he can be doing some disturbing things. Simple yes he can or cant should suffice.

    2. Hi Yuniel,
      I would be more than happy to get on a call with you to be able to give you the right answer. Please Contact our office to set up a free consultation.

  4. I was just fired after being at my job a year and a half. Our boss has cameras everywhere and record audio and video. I did not know or give permission to have my audio recorded. My recording was used against me to fire me. What can I do this situation? Anything will help.

  5. Semi-new to Florida. I manage a store in Pensacola, and have 6 employees. We are 1 of 8 stores in a chain. Every store had new cameras installed 10 months back. I know that they record audio because I brought speakers and an adapter to work and watched a few minutes of footage to verify that the audio had been recorded during a theft that had occurred. When I asked my boss why we didn’t have speakers properly hooked up to the system, he said that only he was supposed to have access to the audio and to take my computer speakers home. I didn’t think much of it for several months until one of my employees mentioned that it was not legal to record audio in Florida. I am in the process of leaving the company for various other reasons, but also have reason to suspect they are going to short me part of my (very) hard earned pay. I would like speak with anyone reading these posts about options I may have or should be concerning myself with. Thank you

    1. Hi Brant,
      I would love to get on a call with you to discuss how we can move forward with this situation. Please call our office or email us to set up a consultation!

  6. Is there any legal grounds to temporarily (manually) record audio at employees desk or work station if employer has very good reason to suspect theft? Both in product & time. Thank you.

  7. I was at work and I was talking with my assistant manager another employee recorded our conversation and turned it to our general manager which then I was brought up and suspended for a week is this all without my knowledge is there any action I can take against the company for this

  8. My employer installed dash cameras and told us they are from the insurance company and for the insurance to keep tabs of hard breaking and speeding well after further search of my own online they actually are not insurance they are personally owned cameras and gps together that any person can buy offline and I did this search after an employee in the office slipped up and said they could see me at the job and wanted to know how much longer I would be at that job I had no knowledge of gps no knowledge that they could video me at anytime was told they were from the insurance company and they are not and know that they are watching it everyday I have read that if I was under investigation they are suspose to tell me and have my consent to gps or record me in the vehicle

  9. Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) it is legal for individuals to tape conversations, provided the recording is for their own use.

    1. Is this also true for 2-party consent states? I am back from a comawhich left me with retrograde amnesia. I record phone calls for enhanced note taking purposes. I call the place of business and After they advised they record all calls I told them I did as well for note note taking purposes. They told me they did not consent to have the call recorded. I asked them to consider making this a reasonable accommodation due to my disability and she said that she was going to disconnect.

  10. My employer recently fired one of my coworkers, partially stemming from a conversation that I had with him in his office. In that conversation I had also mentioned I was excited about leaving in 6 days….I was referring to moving however my employer, unbeknownst to me, was video and audio recording the conversation and assumed I meant leaving the company. They then spoke with my supervisor about it, who approached me and I am now concerned about retailiation.

  11. My employer recently fired one of my coworkers, partially stemming from a conversation that I had with him in his office. In that conversation I had also mentioned I was excited about leaving in 6 days….I was referring to moving however my employer, unbeknownst to me, was video and audio recording the conversation and assumed I meant leaving the company. They then spoke with my supervisor about it, who approached me and I am now concerned about retailiation.

  12. My employer just let me go because of a conversation I had with another employee and I was told when I was let go “I have eyes abs ears all around my store” we had are conversation after the store closed and was clearly in camera. Is this an ok reason to be let go?

    1. p.s.

      my goal isn’t to somehow covertly record private conversations. we can post notices on the doors and in our bulletins that we are recording audio/video

      will this be implied consent ? the purpose of the surveillance system is to protect the church and the people that go there

  13. Hi I work for a company in FL on zoom because we work remote. Another co worker was recording our conversations on zoom with her phone and has now gone to HR with a complaint that we were talking bad about her,

    Is it legal for her to record us and go to HR and now we get a write up for it?

  14. I am aware that my employer has video cameras but only because I found them while cleaning and asked about them. I never signed anything that gave permission for audio recording. Recently I had a conversation with a customer away from the office door where the cameras point to. But apparently audio was recorded and I was approached by my boss and am possibly getting fired. I live in pa and I have never signed anything about video or audio recordings. Please help

  15. I have worked at a private owned restaurant for 3 years and recently found out that all the security cameras record video and audio. The owner can also speak into his cell phone and his voice projects through the cameras. Recently, he has tried to scare employees by using this feature and, in my opinion, that is incredibly inappropriate. My employers wife works with us and recently she was on the phone with him and he made a comment about a female employees legs to his wife over the phone. Also inappropriate. The female employee then looked at the camera and said something (I believe she called him a weirdo or something) and he started laughing on the phone with his wife. Thats how we know the cameras are recording audio. Is there anything we can do about this? Thank you.
    Jacob Fuerst

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