a person operating a recorder

There are a variety of reasons why your boss may want to record your conversations at work. Most employers record conversations for training purposes. However, there are times when an employer has another reason for recording your conversation and you may be wondering if it is legal. It might be.

The legality of recording conversations depends on the state in which you work. Most states are one-party consent states, meaning that only one party has to consent to the recording. Unfortunately, this can be the recorder. A few states are all-party consent states. This means that all parties need to consent to the recording for it to be legal.

All-Party Consent States

There are currently 11 states that ban recording conversations without the consent of everyone involved. This means that state law will be violated if a boss records an employee without their consent. This law also applies to a co-worker recording another co-worker. The 11 states that require the consent of all parties are California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.

One-Party Consent States

If you live in a one-party consent state, than unfortunately, the only consent needed is your boss’. Just pushing the record button can constitute consent. A written notification is not required.


There are times when a recording can be used in a court of law in all-party consent states even if all parties did not consent. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has held that recorded conversations can be used to prove employer harassment or discrimination. If your boss is recording you to monitor harassment or discrimination, than the recording may be used legally to prove wrongdoings.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. It provides general information and is not intended and should not be construed as professional advice. The author is not your attorney, accountant, financial planner or any other professional and no professional-client relationship is created. We do not represent that the information provided is accurate or up-to-date as laws and regulations are always changing. If you have an issue that requires professional help, you should contact the appropriate professional to help you on your specific set of facts. Please read the Terms and Conditions for additional information.


Alicia Lillegard, Esq.

Alicia Lillegard has over 20 years of experience in employment law, human resources and insurance, working with with large blue chip companies, startups, and not-for-profit organizations. Ms. Lillegard is currently Managing Director of New England Human Capital, a human resources consultancy which advises small and midsize businesses on Human Resources compliance, including employment procedures, employee relations and employee benefits. She holds degrees from Loyola University Chicago and John Marshall Law School.

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