Labour & Employment Law Blog

Recording a Conversation in the Workplace

Recording a Conversation in the Workplace

A common question many employees have is whether they can record conversations in the workplace.  This question is usually within the context of a workplace dispute.  For instance, the employee may feel belittled or bullied by a co-worker or superior and desire to record conversations that take place in order to “prove” that they have been bullied or belittled.  Sometimes the employee will advise that co-worker or superior that they will be recording the said conversation.  Other times, the employee will simply record the conversation and not set out to the co-worker or superior that they are doing so.

We offer a caveat with respect to recording conversations at the workplace.  The first is that secretly or covertly recording a conversation that the employee is not a part of is a crime.  Therefore, please do not do so or risk sanction under the Criminal Code.

The second caveat is that while to record a conversation that the employee is a part of may not be a crime regardless of whether or not the employee sought consent of the other party, it is imperative that the employee proceed with extreme caution when doing so.  This is because the employer may see such an act as a breach of trust or confidentiality and may even decide to dismiss that employee for cause because of those recordings.  The employer may also have a policy prohibiting the secret recording of conversations in the workplace.

For instance, in Hart v. Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd., 2017 MBQB 26, an employee sought damages for wrongful dismissal against their employer.  The employer alleged that they had just cause to terminate his employment.  The employee was found to have secretly made recordings of in-person meetings between himself and others at his workplace.  The judge held in that decision that his conduct amounted to a violation of his confidentiality and privacy obligations to his employer. The employee’s claim for wrongful dismissal was dismissed.

In general, if an employee desires to record a conversation between themselves and another at work, it strongly advisable for that employee to clearly set out to all involved that they will be recording the conversation and to seek their consent prior to doing so.  It is not a good idea to secretly record conversations at the workplace without the consent of the parties participating in that conversation because the legality and the implications of such an act are more complicated than first assumed.

The above article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute legal advice or create a solicitor-client relationship. Because each case is unique and factually driven, if you have concerns with regard to the foregoing issues, please make an appointment with one of our lawyers or a qualified legal practitioner elsewhere. We represent clients in the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, North York, Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, Newmarket, Aurora, Brampton, Mississauga, Barrie, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa.

Legal Receptionist

Zeilikman Law is an employment law firm located in Vaughan, Ontario. We are looking to hire a legal receptionist to join our firm. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience working as a receptionist at another law firm.

Location: Vaughan, Ontario.

Start Date: Immediately.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Full time. In-person only. This is not a remote work position.

Wages: 35,000 to 40,000 per year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage our firm’s multi-line telephone system to receive incoming calls.  Screen incoming telephone call inquiries to determine the nature of the telephone call and provide standard information related to our legal services.  Take and deliver messages and route incoming telephone calls to the appropriate staff person.
  • Answer general inquiries coming from the firm’s social media and website email.
  • Welcome in-person visitors upon arrival.  Direct visitors to the appropriate staff person and / or office or boardroom.
  • Organize in-person visitor schedule to prevent overlap and multiple bookings.
  • Receive, sort, and distribute daily mail and deliveries.
  • Arrange for couriers.
  • Keep front reception, kitchenette area and boardroom tidy.
  • Perform various clerical duties such as filing, photocopying, and faxing on an as-needed basis.
  • Process client or other payments.
  • May be asked to run minor errands outside of office such as attending post office to arrange a courier or pick up mail.
  • May be asked to assist other law clerks or lawyers of the firm as required and as appropriate.
  • Any other basic administrative duties or tasks as deemed appropriate.

Required Skills:

  • Basic knowledge of general office procedures including filing, faxing, and printing and copying.
  • Basic word processing computer skills.
  • Proficient in receptionist and telephone practices, etiquette, and decorum.
  • Professional attitude and appearance.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Positive customer service attitude is a must.
  • Must be able to maintain confidential and sensitive information.

Education and Experience:

  • Highschool diploma or equivalent.
  • 1 – 2 years’ experience in an office setting with an emphasis in accounting, reception or clerical work is required.   We would prefer experience in a law firm environment.

Applications for this position should be sent via email to jennifer@zeilikmanlaw.com. All applications should include a cover letter, resume and at least two references. Only successful candidates will be contacted.