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ACT Illegal to Take Photos of Employees Under Employment Law?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by KMouse, 14 August 2016.

  1. KMouse

    KMouse Member

    14 August 2016
    Likes Received:
    I came into work this morning and was confronted by my store manager. He began berating me over the use of my phone during work hours (I know it's not professional, works just been slow lately and there isn't much to do), and then told me that his boss had been watching me through the surveillance tapes and had taken photos of me using the tapes.

    I was shocked that they had taken photographs of me at work without my permission, especially since I wasn't doing anything illegal or dangerous. I immediately left work, humiliated at the confrontation, and came home. This situation is basically the straw that broke the camels back as I've also been dealing with sexist remarks from both my store manager and RM, as well as being underpaid.

    Is it illegal for them to be taking my photo without telling me under employment law? I am aware they have security cameras in the store, however, I never assumed they'd use them to spy on employees.

    Any help you have would be fantastic.

    Thank you.
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi KMouse, I assume that its only an optical surveillance device that is being used. In the Australian Capital Territory, there is legislation specifically regulating workplace surveillance. It imposes strict procedures to which employers must comply.

    The Workplace Privacy Act 2011 (ACT) applies to optical surveillance devices. The Act requires an employer to provide notice to employees that a surveillance device is in use in the workplace, and to consult with employees in good faith before surveillance is introduced.

    If you knew that surveillance was in operation in the store then its reasonable to expect that your employer could also view your activities in surveillance. Covert surveillance is also allowed if your employer gets a court order. Surveillance in places such as toilets, change rooms, nursing rooms, first-aid rooms and prayer rooms, and outside the workplace are obviously not allowed.
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    @thelawbundle likes this.

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