(from NPR) Recent high-profile instances of conversations secretly recorded at work have highlighted a big change in how workplace lawsuits and culture are influenced by surreptitious recordings. Recordings are much more common in the age of smartphones. "If you are surprised you're being recorded, then you are extremely naive. It really is the way of the world," said employment attorney Katrina Patrick. The law governing secret recordings is complex and varies by state. Eleven states require both parties to consent for the recording to be legal. In addition, federal rules, whistleblower protections and labor and free speech laws might apply. Some employers have policies prohibiting the practice. Secret recordings get mixed reviews from judges and jurors, said Patrick.
The increased prevalence of recordings is changing how HR conducts business. While the trend has been to increase transparency, some are questioning open communication, worried it will haunt them in a lawsuit.
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