What You Need to Know About North Carolina Employee Monitoring Laws
North Carolina entitles employees to certain rights to privacy. Here’s everything you need to know about North Carolina employee monitoring laws.
Intercepting oral communications is a crime in North Carolina. North Carolina law also prohibits employers from forcing employees to disclose certain information. If an employee in North Carolina believes their employer has invaded their privacy, they may file a lawsuit.
Intercepting Oral Communications in North Carolina
No individuals in North Carolina may use a trap and trace device without a court order. If an employer uses a trap and trace device to monitor employee conversations, a court may convict them of a Class 1 Misdemeanor. North Carolina courts can deliver any fine to a Class 1 Misdemeanor convict. Individuals convicted with a Class 1 Misdemeanor may also face up to 120 days in jail.
Employers in North Carolina may not listen to or attempt to listen to an employee’s spoken communications using any electronic or mechanical devices. If an employer uses a device to intercept oral or electronic communications in North Carolina, a court may find them guilty of a Class H Felony. Convicts of a Class H Felony face up to 39 months in prison.
One Party Consent
North Carolina is a one-party consent state. In one-party consent states, if one party in a conversation consents to be intercepted or recorded, an employer in North Carolina may listen to oral communication. If an employer wishes to record conversations between employees or clients, at least one party in the conversation must consent.
North Carolina Job and Education Privacy Act
The North Carolina Job and Education Privacy Act (HB846) protects employees from disclosing information. HB846 prohibits employers from terminating, disciplining, or otherwise penalizing an employee if they refuse their employers access to:
- Social network account information
- Personal electronic devices
North Carolina does offer exceptions to employers in the financial services industry who must conduct internal investigations into employee wrongdoing. This act also excludes any publicly accessible communications of a social networking site.
North Carolina Privacy Laws in the Workplace
North Carolina does not have any privacy laws specific to the workplace. North Carolina courts treat all invasion of privacy charges with the same standards.
An employer may not intentionally intrude on an employee’s private affairs without considering the consequences of their intrusion. If an employer invades an employee’s privacy, an employee may file a lawsuit against them.
Related: 7 Examples of Workplace Retaliation
FAQs About North Carolina Employee Monitoring Laws
Is my employer allowed to monitor me using video in North Carolina?
North Carolina law does not specify if employers may use video surveillance. In North Carolina, there is no prohibition on video recording in public areas. If an individual records someone while they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, a court may find they have invaded that person’s privacy.
Can I get compensated for an invasion of privacy in North Carolina?
If an individual files an invasion of privacy lawsuit in North Carolina, a court may award them financial compensation.
How can a lawyer help me with North Carolina employee monitoring laws?
An experienced attorney can help clients determine if their employer has violated any employee monitoring laws in North Carolina. If they determine an employer has invaded an employee’s privacy, a lawyer can help their client file a lawsuit and advocate for them in court.