Surveillance cameras in the workplace
We have recently gone ahead and installed cameras in the workplace.
Understandably the union is a touch upset by this..Has anyone else had issues with installing such cameras? Also does anyone have a written policy on the use of video camera monitoring they can share?
Health and Safety Coordinator
RYDING-REGENCY MEAT PACKERS LTD.
70 Glen Scarlett Road
Phone (416) 767-3343 ext. 233
Fax (416) 766-9167
Privacy Issues with cameras
You should have detailed justification as to the location of the cameras, their field of view, zoom capability, whether they have a masking capability, who has access to operate the cameras, who has access to the recorded information. I would strongly recommend you consult your legal representative (lawyers can be helpful), this will help you greatly.
As for an actual policy, it should be, this should be developed in conjunction with legal recommendations. If you decide to write one though, the layout might look like this:
Use & Management of Recorded information
This case below is a key one.
Please check out this link (PIPEDA) case:
Originally Posted by mstinson
Ooh, that's a very complicated issue. I would highly recommend to contact a lawyer in such a case, too. I know from a friend who works in an insurance company that surveillance or security cameras can lead to seriou problems at the workplace. Some employees at the insurance company even refused to work when a camera is installed. The union and staff should be informed in detail before you start filming the workers.
Bill 168 approach
Under the new and proposed Workplace Violence Legislation, if the cameras are in an area that can justify Section 25 (General Duty Clause) of the Green Book, then you may have a legislated answer right there as under Workplace Violence, Safety and Security are or will be synomymous with each other.
Just a thought.
Cameras can not be an item that you just install. You have to notify employees that you are going to be installing cameras, create policys and procedures to govern the use of the information.
I believe that the 2004 decision of the Commissioner was overturned by the Federal Court. http://dcnonl.com/article/id23736
Here is a case from 2008 where the Judge dislike the Employee's treatment, however, decided that the poor treatment was not sufficiently egregious so as to warrant punitive damages.
I agree that you do need a policy as stated by Sal, that outlines the intent of video monitoring as well as installing sufficient signage to alert employees that they will be monitored. Even if there is an reason for the monitoring, Employer's should consider all other (less intrusive) means to solve the issue before invading their Employees' privacy.
EGordon reference Bill 168, and many Employers are now considering video monitoring as reasonable in their development of workplace violence procedures
A couple of policies to review:
Some minimums to consider in your policy:
• A study of the risks and dangers as well as a crime survey, in cooperation with the Union, JHSC, should be carried out before using cameras as surveillance tools.
• Alternatives to the use of such cameras, less invasive of privacy, should be examined.
• If required, such devices should be used for a limited time on limited occasions (public festivities, particular events, period of the year, hours of the day, etc.).
• The Employees' should be informed by any appropriate notice: information and the name, address and telephone number of the owner or user of the equipment should be provided, on a sign for instance.
• The equipment selected should only keep the necessary information, for instance: if these devices operate under someone’s immediate supervision, this person should only record pictures in case of an offence. On the other hand, in cases where continuous recording is required, the material
should be kept only for a limited period.
• Surveillance cameras should never be aimed at points like: house windows, showers, bathrooms, dressing rooms, etc.
• Persons assigned to the operation of such devices should be well aware of the rules designed to protect privacy. Likewise, where outsiders are hired instead of regular employees.
• Precise rules for storing the recordings should govern the management of the information collected. Access, within the organization or the company, should be restricted.
• The rights of access and correction should be recognized to any person targeted by the recordings.
• An evaluation of the use and effects of this technology should be made regularly.
Last edited by Melissa; 11-15-2009 at 10:54 PM.
Well, I think it would be okay to have security cameras installed if the employees can have cameras installed in the management's offices too. Management is never accountable in these situations are they? I mean the last place I worked the manager basically left early to play golf half the time or goofed off on the Internet all day. I mean, it's one thing to have home security systems installed to protect property but another to feel that your every move in the workplace is being analyzed. I agree with colinbr, a lawyer should be contacted.