Attorneys Advocating For Illinois Healthcare Practitioners And Providers

The risk of recording work conversations in the medical sector

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Healthcare Law

Working in the medical profession often entails making a major commitment to one’s career. People do not simply network their way into careers as physicians or nurses. They must complete extensive education requirements and pass state tests to obtain professional licensing. They may need to work at a medical practice or hospital for years to move into their preferred role or the best shift possible.

All of that effort can potentially go to waste if someone gets pushed out of their job by harassment. Whether someone faces racial harassment from coworkers or sexual harassment from a supervisor, they may want to gather evidence about the misconduct they experience at their medical job so that they can protect their career and hold the other people involved accountable.

Most people carry powerful recording devices with them on a regular basis. Mobile phones can capture photographs, audio recordings and video footage. Medical professionals need to be careful about attempting to record anything in the workplace using their personal devices. Why does recording misconduct in a medical setting potentially put a professional at risk?

They might violate privacy laws

The medical profession is subject to federal regulations limiting the disclosure of private information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has created numerous restrictions on the sharing of personal medical information. Someone attempting to record a conversation or encounter in a medical workplace could accidentally capture information about patients. Whether the video footage includes an open chart on a desk or audio of a patient talking to staff members in the background, what someone captures on the job could put them at risk of HIPAA violations that could lead to penalties ranging from fines to licensing consequences.

They might violate wiretapping laws

Illinois does not allow the average person to record other people without their explicit consent. The law in Illinois makes it a two-party consent state for the purposes of audio and video recordings. Everyone involved in a conversation must give their consent to the recording for it to be legal. Otherwise, attempts to record interactions with coworkers, even when those coworkers engage in misconduct, could violate Illinois law. Not only could that evidence be useless if someone takes their issue to court, but they might end up facing accusations of violating the law and the rights of others.

Discussing unfortunate experiences in the workplace with a legal professional could help someone working in the medical industry find appropriate ways to document what they have experienced. Those who need to gather evidence must ensure they do so in a manner that is compliant with state and federal statutes if they do not want to put their careers at risk.