The court, however, found for the employer. While the court agreed that the hidden camera constituted an invasion of the employees’ reasonable expectations of privacy, the court ultimately held that the intrusion was not offensive or serious. The court’s decision was based on evidence that the employer only utilized the camera several times, and only after the close of the work day. Thus, the employees were never actually filmed by the hidden camera. Moreover, the court ruled that the employer had a legitimate business purpose for monitoring the computer work station.
Nevertheless, employers should be cautious when deciding whether or not to monitor the office with the use of hidden cameras. If the employees in question had been taped, the outcome of the California case could have been drastically different. California has built explicit privacy rights into their state constitution. While many other states have not done so, there is always a chance that they will in the future. As such, full disclosure of the use of hidden cameras is recommended.