Video Surveillance Policy
Author: Jason Habinsky, Haynes & Boone
When to Use
Workplace situations may arise in which an employer wishes to conduct the video surveillance of employees. This can be routine video surveillance if the employer wants to monitor employee conduct or employee productivity during the work day. However, an employer may have a specific need to engage in video surveillance, perhaps due to concerns regarding theft or unauthorized visits from third parties. An employer might also want to monitor the use of employer equipment by employees. Finally, an employer may want to use video surveillance to ensure the safety of employees and the workplace.
Because video surveillance impacts the privacy interests of employees, an employer must ensure that employees are on notice regarding employer monitoring. It is best practice is to put the policy in the employee handbook, and then emphasize that the policy exists by specifically pointing it out to employees or providing further materials on the types of video surveillance that will be conducted. An employer can also provide the video surveillance policy to employees separately and request that employees sign and return the document.
As with all of other policies, employees should sign and acknowledge that they have received and understand the policy before beginning employment. The policy on video surveillance should outline the manner in which video surveillance will be conducted and the areas of the workplace that will be under surveillance. Mismanaged video surveillance can cost an employer monetarily, and can lead to a reduction in employee morale if employees feel that they are being watched. Having an established policy on video surveillance reduces those risks.