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Security cameras in the work place

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Security cameras in the work place - 9/5/2012 10:45:38 AM   

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I know this sounds like an odd question, but I'll ask it anyway. I work in a retail shop environment and with cameras covering all the shop. My boss has a tendency to sit in his office for considerable periods of time watching shop employees, and then passes comment of why individuals are doing certain things. Is he breaking any work place rules? I think he is bone lazy, as sitting and watching cameras for more than an hour at a time isn't really productive.


Formerly Goodwood

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RE: Security cameras in the work place - 9/5/2012 11:07:39 AM   

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Depends where you are, presumably. In the UK CCTV in the workplace is legal, but the employer is required to inform employees why cameras are there and (the important bit) information from them cannot be used for any other purpose unless that is something a 'reasonable employer' could not ignore; such as obvious sexual harrassment or health and safety violations.

In retail, I would assume the primary purpose of the cameras is to monitor for shoplifters, not observe staff. It would be very hard to justify the latter, as an EPOS audit does a much better job of identifying those fiddling cash, or just making honest mistakes, anyway. I would doubt general behaviour is included in the stated purpose. It certainly wouldn't be in a unionised workplace but that's rare in retail these days, sadly.

< Message edited by Hertston -- 9/5/2012 11:08:14 AM >

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RE: Security cameras in the work place - 9/5/2012 11:19:05 AM   

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G'day Hertston in Australia, I guess i should join the union and test the issue. If it isn't illegal i think there is a moral slant on it, not to mention a time management issue.


Formerly Goodwood

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RE: Security cameras in the work place - 9/5/2012 2:02:11 PM   
Max 86

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I always thought cameras in retail were for protection against theft not for spying on employees. I never understood why employers nned to spy on their workers. If employers can't tell their people are being productive or not then maybe they shouold actually manage their staff instead of monitor.


No problem Chief!

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RE: Security cameras in the work place - 9/5/2012 3:08:39 PM   

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They are for protection from theft. Since most retail theft is due to sticky-fingered employees, it makes sense to cover the retail area with security cameras. As for characterizing it as "spying", that's not accurate. There is no cloak and dagger stuff going on, everyone knows about the cameras and that they are being watched. No one installs cameras so they can just watch people, to see what they do. That's not cost effective and no business owner is going to use them for that purpose since the economic benefits are very small.

If some manager is sitting in the office watching people and that's not one of his job duties, then he needs extra training so he can be more productive. If sitting there is part of his duties, then there's no problem.

The only place that there shouldn't be cameras is where the employee, as a "reasonable person", would expect some privacy. Like in the bathroom, for example. But anywhere else in fair game.

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RE: Security cameras in the work place - 9/5/2012 7:22:55 PM   
british exil

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I know in Germany this has caused quite a few scandals. Shops (major chains) spying on their staff, without informing the staff council or union prior, lost customers who decided to boycott the store.

If the staff council is not informed that the boss is spying on a worker, because he feels that the person has sticky fingers, then they have the power to stop a boss sacking the person involved. The reason why cameras being involved must be told to the staff counsil prior to any action.

Cameras are not allowed to have their focus on the area where payments are made, due to the sensitive information passed on, PIN numbers being used.



"It is not enough to expect a man to pay for the best, you must also give him what he pays for." Alfred Dunhill


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RE: Security cameras in the work place - 9/6/2012 1:55:29 AM   

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I work in a remote location and stay in company workcamp.They want us to sign a document giving the security the right to search our rooms and personel belongings at anytime.The problem is we "hotel" meaning each time we are off we are assigned a different room.Now if the worker in the room before me drops some narcotics or leaves an empty bottle under the bed or has them in the room the dogs will detect it and I could get blamed.I have been assured by staff that the rooms are cleaned after cheack out,but how can I be sure?As for now the cleaning staff do a half assed job.If we dont sign the paper we will be fired.

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RE: Security cameras in the work place - 9/6/2012 7:57:20 PM   

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As someone who worked in the hospitality industry for over a decade, I can tell you with complete confidence that any assurances by the staff that the room is completely cleaned out are a knowing and complete lie. The housekeeping staff is made out of people, not robots, and people get lazy, distracted, tired, overworked, or inattentive, just like every other human being on the planet. The housekeeping staff is paid relatively low wages and experiences high turnover.

I've found crack pipes, condoms, food, weapons, drugs, pornography, body and other unknown fluids and substances, inside supposedly "vacant clean" rooms. Not hidden either, just right there under the bed, or another obvious place.

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RE: Security cameras in the work place - 9/6/2012 8:41:39 PM   

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I work for a public utility company paid for by tax dollars. We have tight security and camaras are everywhere and everything I do on my computer is monitored.

I don't mind a bit though. I have nothing to hide and our job atmosphere is pretty laid back. When I first started I felt compelled to constantly keep busy. Then I learned that my 40 hour work week could easily be done in 15-20 hours. And all of my managers and supervisors spend time talking sports, shopping for stuff online and making inappropriate remarks about the female employees.
After about 3 months I modified my production level to fit right in
Minus the borderline sexual harassment.

There is a lot of waste where I work. Half of my managers and supervisors have job titles but would be hard pressed to actually tell you what they do during the day.

The cameras are pretty much to keep unwanted people out and keep anyone from doing anything blatantly wrong, like murder. But knowing our security staff that might be a stretch

I worked retail to put myself through college and law school and cameras were everywhere too.
I didn't mind them either. I was raised in a good home and learned at an early age not to take stuff that did not belong to me.
Once I became friends with loss prevention I learned the cameras were there to both prevent shoplifting but also prevent employee theft which was a bigger problem than shoplifting.
We also had our registers monitored as well. While I worked there, there was a manager who did a penny down scam on lay away items and managed to clear $100-150 a week for 18 months before she was found out and fired.
But they declined to press charges. It would have cost more in attorny fees and court costs than to prosecute her and regain their money.
It was at that point I decided I needed to go to law school Kidding

< Message edited by Fallschirmjager -- 9/6/2012 8:42:40 PM >


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RE: Security cameras in the work place - 9/7/2012 4:17:40 AM   

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We had cameras when I worked at Barnes and Noble. They were needed too. Not because of customer theft but because of employee theft. We lost more money from them than the customers.


After 16 years, Civ II still has me in it's clutches LOL!!!
Now CIV IV has me in it's evil clutches!

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