Buffalo, NY asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Employment Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: I am employed and housed by my employer as a manager in upstate New York Jefferson county. I have privacy concerns

I work on property on site and live in a separate dwelling on site. I have concerns of audio being listened in on any particular camera at any time at two separate company properties and I have concerns of my private Internet traffic being stalked by the employer as well. I am finding difficulty finding clarity for my particular predicament. But feeling like I'm living in a non consensual surveillance state is giving me anxiety.

Edit: additionally no one has signed any consent for any audio monitoring. And I haven't for my personal data

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: It's understandable that you have privacy concerns given your unique situation of living and working on your employer's property in Jefferson County, New York. In the United States, employees do have certain rights when it comes to privacy in the workplace.

Firstly, you should be aware that your employer may have the right to use surveillance cameras on their property, but there are limitations. Generally, these cameras should not be placed in areas where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as bathrooms or changing rooms. However, monitoring common work areas is often permitted.

Regarding your private Internet traffic, your employer may have policies in place about internet usage at work. It's essential to review your employment contract and any applicable company policies to understand the extent to which your online activities are monitored.

If you believe that your employer is crossing boundaries and violating your privacy rights, it's advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law. They can provide you with specific guidance tailored to your situation and help you address your concerns within the legal framework.

Remember that maintaining open communication with your employer about your concerns may also be a productive step to resolve these issues. Balancing privacy and work-related responsibilities is crucial, and discussing your worries with them might lead to a more satisfactory resolution.

Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If it's their wi-fi/router, provided for work purposes, it's possible they may assert control over that traffic with no expectation of privacy. If it's your network equipment and connections, that could be yours, but even those settings can be subject to employer control, based on the agreement/arrangement and the type of work being handled. That's something that needs to be outlined and understood by both of you - it is often subject to the agreements between the entities and individuals. Good luck

Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer

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