Is it legal for a conversation to be recorded if the person recording is not in the room?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal for a conversation to be recorded if the person recording is not in the room?

Myself and 2 other men were in a locked room having a conversation and venting about the results of our store’s annual inventory. There was profanity used but none of us were offended. Somebody left an electronic recording device in the room and retrieved it after our conversation ended. This person turned it in to HR and all 3 of us were terminated. Is this legal for the company? Is it legal to be recorded if the person doing the recording is not in the room?

Asked on August 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You have 2 issues here. First of all, as to the conversation, it is illegal to record a conversation unless at least 1 person to it consents to is being recorded. Secondly, as to your termination, unless your firing violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, as an "at will" worker you could have been discharged for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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