According to the old saying, there’s three sides to every story: One person’s version of events, the other person’s version of events and the truth. That’s the kind of thinking that often leads to litigation between employers and employees when they have disputes.
Both sides need to collect whatever evidence there is to prove what really happened, especially when there are claims of discrimination or sexual harassment involved. However, neither side cannot violate the law to do it.
Florida is a two-party consent state
Under Fla. Stat. Ch. 934.03, it’s illegal to intercept or record any kind of wire, oral or electronic communications unless all parties have given their consent. This is commonly called “two-party” consent. Violating this law is a felony, and it could also result in civil claims for damages.
There are a few exceptions to the rule, however. Chief among them, the law permits in-person communications, e.g., conversations. to be recorded when there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, you can’t expect privacy when you’re engaged in an animated conversation with someone in a public place.
There are a lot of grey areas in the law about what can be done in a workplace setting. Generally, employers have the right to monitor your emails and communications through the company computer. They can also place cameras in certain areas.
On the other hand, your boss cannot do things like record you in a private consultation in their office — nor can you record your boss.
Gathering evidence to support your side is still important
Just the same, you know you need documentation to support your side of the story — whatever the dispute. Employers and employees alike can benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney about their situation before they make mistakes that could later hurt them.