At cavnessHR, we deliver HR to companies with 49 or fewer people.
Today, we're gonna talk about the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, or the ECPA. For these newsletters, we are just covering the basics of HR. Nothing complicated, nothing too detailed. But just the basics that you need to know if you're a small business owner or founder just getting started.
Basically, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act prohibits the intentional interceptions of wire, audio electronic communications. So, basically bottom line up front, you can't record your people at work and you notice it doesn't say anything about video, and we'll get that into more detail later.
Now, people always say, "Well, how about training or sales training?" This is not covered by this law. This is just keeping you from spying on your people's day-to-day conversations. This law was initially started back in 1968, then was amended in 1986, and it has been amended a few times since then. Like for the Patriot Act or other times to make it easier for law enforcement to go to people's computer and get information. But for small business owners and founders, you cannot spy on your people. For example, you can't put an audio recorder underneath your people's desk. Now some people will say, "Well how do I keep my people from stealing from me or whatever?" So, with that case, you just have to put up a video camera, there is nothing saying you cannot use a video camera to make sure you people are doing the right thing.
I think this falls under one of those things, do unto others as you want them to do to you. If you work for someone, would you want them spying on you or keeping tabs on you? Probably not. So once again, you can still record sales calls or customer service calls. To me, this merely covers personal calls or personal information, like if your employee calls their son at work or does something like that or whatever the case may be. So basically, as the owner, you can't use audio to keep tabs on your people. Once again, if you're worried about them doing the wrong thing, just put up a video camera. Just make sure it has no audio. Or maybe you should consider replacing them if you don't trust them to do the right thing.
This is a pretty short one today. Any questions for me about any HR topic, just email me at email@example.com. Thank you for your time today, and remember, to be great every day.
For the video below, it actually starts around the 3-minute mark.
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