You learn of an employee or a vendor, claiming harassment by another
employee, in your organization. What can you do? So far, it is just
one persons word and perhaps a witness, if you are lucky. Harassment
of course, is often unwanted sexual advances or attempts at
intimidation. It can take many forms, including “requests” for
payments or favors, acting unprofessionally, or saying cruel things to a
Most often, the perpetrator repeats and increases the activity.
Rarely does such a person stop with a simple “no”. Generally the
harasser is careful to avoid witnesses and even security cameras.
Implementing one or more covert cameras and recording the activity, may
be enough to enable you to charge the perpetrator. Sometimes, audio,
along with the video, is needed for evidence. Today, due to the proliferation
of audio within many IP cameras, the rules on the use of audio
have relaxed, but you should clear it with your attorney.
If the reported incidents occur within a private office, you must have
the permission of the normal and approved occupant of that office,
including for the use of audio. It is most important to test the
viewing area of the camera or cameras and test to make sure the audio
is clear at the distance involved, in normal speaking volume. This
may require an amplified microphone. Recording can take place in
adjacent areas or directly within the cameras.
Barry Levine is CEO of San Diego-based Sperry West, maker of
Spyder® video cameras and Video Commander® surveillance
kits. Levine has been leading video security companies for 40
years. He can be contacted at (858) 551-2000 or