When rules are broken, HR and managers are often put in the tough position of investigating the incident — without invading anyone’s privacy.
Those sometimes-conflicting obligations recently led to a lawsuit in California.
Two women sued their employer after discovering a hidden camera in an office they shared. They claim the company invaded their privacy.
What was the camera doing there? The company said someone had been viewing pornography after hours on the women’s computers, so it installed a camera in the office to find out who it was.
The employer never thought either of the women did it — but it also didn’t tell them about the surveillance. The camera was never turned on during the day, and the female employees were never actually captured on film.
As we reported earlier, a judge initially sided with the women anyway. He said that just the possibility that they could be watched was enough to let the case move forward.
However, the California Supreme Court overturned that ruling, saying the scope of the surveillance wasn’t enough to constitute an invasion of privacy.
Cite: Hernandez v. Hillsides, Inc.