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Is employee's Telephone tapping by employer legal in USA?

Saurabh Pillai
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Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 507
Is employee's Telephone tapping by employer legal in USA?

Thank you.
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10360
    
    8

Dude,
Are you serious?


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Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18570
    
    8

The employee's home phone, or the one the employee uses in the office?
Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 507
Paul Clapham wrote:The employee's home phone, or the one the employee uses in the office?


Office landline phone.

Here is the situation, I call developers, client etc. through this phone. but my employer has setup the phone n/w in such a way that when I receive calls it rings at two places to my phone and his desk phone.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Yes, it's absolutely legal for your employer to listen in on your calls. If the calls are being recorded, the person on the other end must be notified, by law.


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fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11311
    
  16

The employee doesn't have a phone line. They only have access to a line the employer owns and lets them use.


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Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38788
    
  23
In English law, which applies with relatively slight changes in the States, too, what an employee does using the employer's facilities, the employer does. And the employer is entitled to know what he is doing (if you can use the word "he" for a company). So a company can monitor e-mails on their computers, prevent access to certain types of website, or record phone calls. In this country (UK) that is obviously what it means when you phone a company and a recorded voice says, "Calls may be recorded for training purposes."

If they find you have been downloading porn or phoning chat lines, they can dismiss you for that sort of thing.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61199
    
  66

I would hardly consider this a case of "tapping".


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Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 507
Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:Yes, it's absolutely legal for your employer to listen in on your calls. If the calls are being recorded, the person on the other end must be notified, by law.


Really? but other two parties can not talk comfortably if someone is listening.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  66

Then don't use your office phone for personal calls. If they are business-related calls, you shouldn't be saying anything that the employer shouldn't hear.
Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
Saurabh Pillai wrote:
Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:Yes, it's absolutely legal for your employer to listen in on your calls. If the calls are being recorded, the person on the other end must be notified, by law.


Really? but other two parties can not talk comfortably if someone is listening.

What kind of "talks" you want to carry out that you are so conscious of the employer listening to ?
Is'nt this almost like a conference call with 3 people in it, except that the boss seldom talks ! We have calls with 5-6 parties in them. What is the big deal. This is not phone tapping.


You know what I am saying ?
Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 507
Bear Bibeault wrote:Then don't use your office phone for personal calls. If they are business-related calls, you shouldn't be saying anything that the employer shouldn't hear.


You are answering technically here. I am saying when you know that somebody is listening to you , you do not feel comfortable. I guess it is general human tendency.
and I have never mentioned about personal calls.
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41819
    
  62
Saurabh Pillai wrote:I am saying when you know that somebody is listening to you , you do not feel comfortable.

Be that as it may, you need to overcome this so that you can conduct business in a way as if everyone whose business it might be might be listening in. If you happen to say something as if that were not the case, the other side might choose to take it to your boss straight away anyway.


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Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
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Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30512
    
150

Saurabh Pillai wrote:You are answering technically here. I am saying when you know that somebody is listening to you , you do not feel comfortable.

Do you work in a cubical or other shared space? If so, people are listening to your side of the conversation anyway.

I agree with Ulf that you have to become comfortable with others hearing your work.


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Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 507
Occasionally we(may be only me) do gossiping about our superiors in cafeteria if not over the phone.
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30512
    
150

Saurabh Pillai wrote:Occasionally we(may be only me) do gossiping about our superiors in cafeteria if not over the phone.

Maybe you shouldn't. Gossiping about the boss on office equipment or where someone can overhear you doesn't seem wise to me.
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38788
    
  23
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote: . . . Gossiping about the boss . . . doesn't seem wise to me.
If there is any gossip worth saying about the boss at all, then it is even less wise
Tim Cooke
Bartender

Joined: Mar 28, 2008
Posts: 1007
    
  47

A statement in my company's policy document says the following (roughly):

"An employee using company owned equipment should have no expectation of privacy"

Which pretty much covers all eventualities. Telephone, email, SMS, IM chat, internet access, files stored on your laptop.

I'm sure this applies to most companies these days.


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Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 374
    
    1
Saurabh, even if it is not legal..what do you do when they do it? In the company, 'everything you say can and will be used against you'. So never say or write anything that will get you in trouble if your teamlead might read it. I have been there and done that. You have no foot to stand on, you always lose. Remember they can afford more expensive lawyers and have experience in this stuff you don't.

(By the way, this is also why I never really feel free during office hours. You can always be watched. You always have to be vigilant.)
jacob wilson
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 11, 2013
Posts: 6
It might be but if he is tapping it and making a bad use of it which is harming any kind of sentiments or trying to leak out then you may take any action against it .
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41819
    
  62
jacob wilson wrote:which is harming any kind of sentiments

I'm not aware of a jurisdiction where that is something that has legal standing. We're not talking about hate speech here, we're talking about company communication.

or trying to leak out then you may take any action against it .

Probably not. If it's clear that conversations may be recorded, then there is no expectation of privacy. The company is free to use its internal communications as it sees fit.
 
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subject: Is employee's Telephone tapping by employer legal in USA?