DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

June 6, 2013

Workplace cameras are legal

About the law
Andrew Myers

---- — Is it legal for my company to monitor me by video cameras in the workplace? Two of us are in the front office area and video cameras watch us. It seems creepy.

Both of us, females, feel it is not OK that the boss can hop on anytime and view us.

In the front office of a workplace surveillance cameras aren’t objectionable as privacy violations. The legal standard here is that cameras are allowed in such situations as long as there’s no reasonable expectation of privacy.

So, general office space, warehouse space and other work areas can be subject to video cameras. There is a statute in New Hampshire making it a Class A misdemeanor to video private places such as restrooms and locker rooms. Privacy violations of a number of varieties are criminalized under RSA 644:9.

It is also not legal to record conversations by audio recording without the consent of all parties to the conversation, But, employers may generally use video surveillance in open areas where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. Cameras may not be used in restrooms or changing areas. But, out in a reception or work area, this is not out of bounds.

I received a summons to appear in court over a $6,500 loan. I was making payments, but fell behind, so they sued me. Could a deal be reached outside of court? Is an attorney representing the loan company able to set up a repayment outside of court?

Possibly but not probably.

Here’s how collection attorneys view things. You had a payment plan under the loan agreement, but could not make those payments, so why should they set up a different plan just to have you fail again?

Harsh as it sounds, that’s why they brought a court case. They’ve heard hardship stories before.

Once there is a default, they figure they can sue and work out a settlement with you under court supervision. The difference is that a payment plan or settlement worked out in the court lawsuit must be approved by the court, becomes a court order and is enforceable as an order of the court.

Go ahead and call to try and work out an arrangement. But, that’s how collection attorneys think.

Andrew Myers of Derry has law offices in Derry and North Andover. He is a member of the American Association for Justice and the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. Send questions to andrew@attorney-myers.com.