Taping Conversations

I filed a formal complaint of Harassment on Monday. I was never contacted by HR concerning the complaint. The next day I was laid off. I believe I have been retailiated against for filing the complaint.

There was a time prior to the formal complaint I taped conversations I had with my harasser. They were only to be sure I followed to the letter everything he asked of me pertaining to my job. I later stopped taping. I taped the conversation with the knowledge of the Secretary of the coporation. I had several conversations with him concerning all of the demands my new supervisor was placing on me and the harassment taking place.

The monday after my be laid off our CEO called me at home to negociate the terms of my severance at which time he notified me that his attorney was wanting to press criminal charges against me for taping the conversation with my supervisor. The geography of the taping is as follows: I'm in Texas and he is in Pennsylvania. I believe this to be just a scare tactic in order to keep me from filing with the EEOC.

My question is: Is the fact that he threated to prosecute me for taping harassment and can I do anything about it. He said it is a unlawful to tape others without their consent. Although we have taping devices, speaker phones and extentions as a part of our phones.

2 answers  |  asked Jun 23, 2003 10:23 PM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (2)

Margaret A. Harris
The Threat

I agree with Ms. Fitzgerald's advice. Further, you should know that, under the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer may not present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present criminal charges solely to gain an advantage in a civil matter. Your EEOC charge is a civil matter. If you believe the lawyer is engaging in conduct that is prohibited by this Rule, you should contact the Texas State Bar at 1-866-224-5999. It is a toll free number.

posted by Margaret A. Harris  |  Jun 24, 2003 09:28 AM [EST]
Karen Fitzgerald
taping conversations

I think that you do need to consult with an attorney where you live. As a general rule, in Texas, it is legal to tape a conversation so long as one person to the conversation consents to the taping. The person doing the tape recording can be the consenting person. Thus, under Texas law, what you have done is perfectly legal. Pennsylvania law may be different. Because you were in Texas and the person you spoke with was in Pennsylvania, there may be some interplay of the law that would impact this situation. That is something that cannot be answered without additional research. I do think they are using this threat to keep you from pursuing your claim at the EEOC level. You should get some additional legal advice that can tell you exectly what your rights are.

Good luck.

Karen Fitzgerald

posted by Karen Fitzgerald  |  Jun 23, 2003 10:48 PM [EST]

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