Companies often have valid reasons for using security cameras in the workplace to promote safety and security. However, protecting employees’ privacy is essential for legal and ethical reasons. State laws offer clear guidance on where workplaces cannot use security cameras. Employers also want to ensure they use cameras for legitimate reasons and not as a form of harassment or intimidation. When you choose security cameras in the workplace, you must achieve a balance that meets your monitoring needs while respecting your employees’ privacy. Working with a highly qualified commercial security firm is critical to achieving that balance. Make sure the firm you choose has the proper licensing with DCJS (Department of Criminal Justice Services).
Why Do Companies Need Workplace Monitoring?
Video surveillance serves companies, from retailers to office environments, in several ways. According to a 2019 survey by the American Management Association, “almost half (48 percent) of the companies surveyed use video monitoring to counter theft, violence and sabotage.” AMA reports that around 7 percent use video surveillance to track employees’ on-the-job performance. Companies use security cameras to:
- Maintain safety and security in and around the workplace.
- Prevent employee theft.
- Prevent workplace violence.
- Monitor employee activities and on-the-job performance.
What Do I Need To Consider When Installing Security Cameras in the Workplace?
Workplace security cameras are legal and appropriate under certain conditions. Here are some essential factors to consider before you install:
- Location is key. Cameras must be placed in public areas. In Virginia, there are laws against filming or photographing people who are nude or partially undressed in locations where they would have a “reasonable expectation” of privacy, including bathrooms and locker rooms.
- Transparency and notification. Employees should be informed when they are being filmed in public locations. Notification not only acts as a deterrent to theft, it protects the employer from potential lawsuits.
- Good cause. If you monitor on-the-job performance in addition to theft, be transparent about what you are doing and ensure that you have reasonable grounds to record. You must have a legitimate business reason for recording. Improper surveillance can be interpreted as harassment or intimidation of employees and lead to civil actions related to a hostile workplace.
- Video monitoring only. Laws around audio recording are more complex and require the explicit consent of the person being recorded. Most employers choose video only for legal reasons.
How Can My Security Services Provider Help Me Navigate Workplace Monitoring?
Workplace security monitoring is often a necessary part of doing business. It’s also a legal minefield if not executed correctly. One essential component is finding a trusted commercial provider with expertise in federal and state laws. Aegis Technologies has provided security and surveillance solutions for businesses around the DC Metro and Northern Virginia region for three decades. Our clients include retailers, banks, schools, offices and other specialized workplace environments.
Our team has the technology solutions and engineering expertise to get the job done right, along with detailed knowledge of federal and state laws involved with video surveillance of employees. Aegis offers effective solutions for preventing theft and monitoring on-the-job performance while respecting the dignity and privacy of your employees.