Recording Coworker

Question:

My question is, can I record my coworker for lying that I am mistreating her? Also, my boss has teamed up with her because I complained to HR about him, Now he is pairing up with her and making up lies to HR. I want to record her without her knowing and not breaking the law.

Signed,

Wanting Proof


Answer:

Dear Wanting Proof:

We are prohibited from providing legal advice, so you would need to check with a legal resource in your state about whether or not you could legally record someone–and use the recordings.

My personal feeling is that when you get to the point that you are only believed if you have a recording, you probably have lost your influence anyway and need to find another job where you can be happier and more effective.

Once the word gets out that you are recording–and it always does–you’ll never be trusted and people will hesitate to say anything around you. So, I think you should consider another option.

Think about this: If you work well with everyone and are known for being a decent person, no one is going to believe you mistreated someone. But if you are having trouble with your boss and with a coworker and HR hasn’t found anything to support you, it probably won’t get better from here on out!

I suggest you do one of two things: Either diligently focus on your work and prove to everyone that you are practically indispensable for the job, or as Dr. Gorden often suggests…vote with your feet and leave, telling HR why.

I think the first option is best. If you arrive on time, look sharp, smile appropriately, communicate like a professional person and work to a high level in both productivity and quality, no one will want to fire you. When your coworker tempts you to react to her behavior, force yourself to get back to work. When your boss is causing you problems, see if you can talk to him about it, but talk civilly. Make it a challenge to be so new and improved that they can’t attack you successfully. Wouldn’t that be better than buying a recorder, trying to situate it so the microphone would pick up everything, then try to figure out what to do with the hours of recordings you end up with?

Good luck with this and keep your focus!

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.