Toledo, OH asked in Employment Law, Libel & Slander and Criminal Law for Michigan

Q: Is it illegal for someone to record a video of you in the parking lot of your employer? Usually a fenced in parking lot.

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Who is doing the recording? If it's your employer or its agent, then they probably are well within their rights to record your activities on their property. If it's someone else, the answer would vary depending on what your reasonable expectation of privacy was at that location. In a parking lot, you don't have much of a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Very generally, if someone can see you, they can record you. It doesn't really matter if the parking lot is fenced if the person recording is otherwise allowed to be on the grounds. Even if they weren't it's probably a violation of company policy or criminal trespass onto the company, but not you, and so any recording of you is likely not illegal in itself.

For example, let's say Mr. Cameraman, who has no affiliation with your employer and was in fact trespassing, happened to catch you having sex in your car while parked in the parking lot. Mr. Cameraman could be criminally charged with trespassing, but the video he got of you is likely legal because you didn't have a reasonable expectation of privacy for what you were doing in that parking lot.

Obviously, there is a big difference between being recorded in a parking lot (regardless of what you were doing there) versus in a bathroom, where you would - even in your employer's bathroom - have an expectation of privacy.

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