Coworker Taking Photos Of Me To Get Me Fired

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker photographing to get another fired:

I work at a nursing home-like facility. There’s an employee there who, for an unknown reason to me, doesn’t like me or my company. She has been taking photographs to try to report me because she would like me to get fired. Is there a privacy law against this? Is it considered assault or harassment if I know it’s happening?

Signed, Snooped Upon

Dear Snooped Upon:

There may be laws about the specific actions you describe, if carried to extreme. But, I doubt it would rise to the level of legal action, unless you have tried to stop it through ordinary channels and those haven’t worked. You may want to contact a city or county attorney about the matter, since they are the ones who would have to agree to prosecute someone for the crime.However, rather than doing that immediately, I think you should write your concerns out, give the times when the photos have been taken and immediately go to your manager or to HR, ask the matter be investigated and insist that she stop.

Not only is this disruptive to your work and distracting, she obviously is not working fully when she is taking the photos and if others are around, she may create anxiety for patients, their families or other staff. Also, if she is taking photos of you, she may be doing other things to other people, including snooping about the business or about supervisors. She might take photos of patients or of situations or scenes at work.

So, all in all, I think your managers would be very unhappy to find out an employee was taking photos of anything inside the workplace. If you can prove it or if you have seen her or someone has told you about it, report it right away.Best wishes to you with this. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.