Forum

recording device

Hi guys just wanted to get some comments from people who may understand the situation better.

Basically I'm getting a lot of grief from my employers because I decided to use my phone to record a meeting without first getting permission and notifying all participants.

My MS is in the very early stages and I don't want to declare it to everyone. I've found at meetings that I sometimes tune out or find it difficult to recall exactly what was discussed. Always being exhausted doesn't help and I'm afraid of missing anything.

I looked up cognitive issues on the MS web site and it suggested using a dictaphone. I also looked up the legal side of it and as long as it is for personal use and not shared then it is legal but my employers have told me it is "offensive to record covertly" and "not normal behaviour".
They want me to apologise to everyone who was at the meeting I recorded and I've refused because that would be like admitting I've done something wrong which I don't think I have.

They are now warning me that I could be liable to disciplinary action.
I feel that I'm using a device to help with my disability the same as a walking stick.

Whether you agree or disagree I'd appreciate your point of view.

I think this is a difficult situation. I can see both sides of the argument to be honest. If I was at the meeting, the thought that somebody was recording me without my knowledge, even if it was for personal use only, would make me quite cross. I would probably have no objection however, if I knew what it was for and that this was explained to me. I appreciate the fact that you don't want to disclose your condition though. I ended up being honest with my employer and colleagues, simply because I didn't want to have to deal with situations like this. I am lucky; they are very understanding. I appreciate that not all employers are not so understanding. Sorry if this is a bit of a ramble, but like I said at the beginning, I can understand both sides of the argument!

Boo

Could you maybe calm the situation a bit by first apologising to everyone concerned for recording them without their knowledge, but also add that due to health reasons (you don't have to say what these are), that you will be recording future meetings too.  This covers your back and also placates your employer for what has gone before?

Luisa x

Sorry but you have done something wrong. I am afraid you have breached everyones human rights in the meeting and people could take it further if they wanted to. Sorry if that sounds harsh but that is the way it is, You have no right to record anything anyone says without asking them first.

My advice would be to apologise and in future ask if people mind

John

Hi Kjdada, I'm sorry to say but you are in the wrong. It would have been ok if you had asked everyone first and got their permission. It's like when you call a call-centre and it always says 'this call might be recorded for training purposes'. That keeps it within the law.

I know it's hard, but you should really apologise and say that you didn't realise it was wrong. You could make things much worse for yourself by not apologising. 

Sorry... 

Pat x

Oh dear.  I'm sorry you have landed in trouble over this.  It is a case of conflicting rights, I think - your natural desire to do your job as best you can while maintaining your privacy -v- other people's right to go about their work in good faith without being recorded covertly. 

It sounds as though yoru employers are being a bit heavy-handed in how they are dealing with this, which does not help.  They will be fretting (I guess) because people could, potentially, cut up rough about mutual trust and confidence having been breached by covert recording etc etc, although unless your colleagues are completely stupid and horrible and out to stir trouble it is hard to see this as a real possibility, given the circumstances.

Any road up, I think you are in a bit of a false position here, and you probably need to accept that, whether you feel that you are in the wrong or not.  It is a pity that the issue of your MS is dragged into the open in a way not controlled by you, but perhaps you can, nevertheless, turn what has happened to some good effect by talking through more fully with your bosses what your problems are and how they can help you.

I hope you get it all sorted out quickly.

Alison

x

Hi all

Thanks for the comments.

Legally speaking I'm fine according to a solicitor because I didn't breach anyones human rights because it is for personal use but if I broadcast or share the recording then I'm the one in big trouble.

Employers are aware of my condition and said they would support me and also respect my right to not disclose but, when we reach our first hurdle I'm very disappointed with their attitude. Their true colours revealed; branding me as abnormal and offensive doesn't bode well.

They say MS is a gift that just keeps taking but I was hoping to hold on to my privacy a bit longer.

Speaking with a friend today who asked me why I don't just disclose it, which may dissipate the problem. My reply, any weakness is pounced upon as a reason to terminate employment and I simply cannot afford that. I feel I've been pushed into telling everyone even though I didn't want to. It starts becoming a matter of principle.

Anyway thank you all for your time, appreciate it.

Hello kjdada,

I have to agree with PatB. 

My own feeling is that it is good manners to ask people if they mind being recorded.  They will almost never object.

I hope it sorts itself out soon

Patrick