People of nearly all generations in the United States, from the baby boomers on down, have grown accustomed to the use of video and audio recordings as “proof.” Police are already being fitted with body cams, security cameras now sweep many physical areas, and conference calls simply require clicking a button to record. In court cases and arbitration proceedings in labor and employment matters, recorded evidence can be determinative, avoiding the credibility determinations of “he said/she said” and their variants. Are body cams in work environments next?
Well, Edesix Ltd., an Edinburgh company, is on the market with body cams that are being put into the uniforms of all ground staff and flight attendants for Guernsey air carrier Aurigny. News of passenger disturbances on flights probably makes this a “no-brainer.” Similar body cams apparently are in use throughout Europe in health care, retail, and other settings. Employers should plan for more widespread use of body cams in the workplace and society generally. As part of their planning, U.S. employers should consider the accompanying legal issues, such as the duty to bargain with union representatives, state and local legal restrictions on surreptitious recordings, privacy interests and property rights in likeness issues, among others. “Candid camera” is not just an old TV show any more.