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The Employer’s Legal Advisor by Thomas M. Hanna

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Telephones and Tape Recorders

Federal law allows one party to a telephone conversation to record the entire conversation. It prohibits the taping of a telephone conversation by persons who are not a party to the call (see 18 United States Code §2511). State laws may prohibit the taping of a conversation without the consent of all parties. For these reasons, you must be aware of the state laws affecting your actions.

Obviously, you cannot listen in on an employee’s telephone conversation when you are not a party to it unless consent or notice is given. In the latter instance, employees must be notified that their calls are being monitored. Such consent is best given in writing so that there is no doubt that consent was given.

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