Is it legal to audio record my boss without his knowledge?

For instance, can I put a digital recorder in my desk and record a conversation?

I believe for law purposes, you'd have to disclose that you're taping the conversation.

Otherwise it will get thrown out.
In most instances, no you can't do what you were hoping to be able to do. I would like to be more specific but without knowing what state, I can't go into any more detail.
you can record a conversation directly between yourself and another person without the other persons knowledge .
the company your with might have some rules about this but the law says one on one in person conversations can be recorded.
Every state has its own laws. Any answer you get without a specific state is wrong.


Washington State

edit: For Hexeliebe

The statute in Arizona is ARS 13-3012, I used it as a police officer. I even taped interstate communications with my ex-wife for court in Massachussets as they were legally obtained.

I asked an attorney while I was stationed in Washington if it was a single party state, like Arizona, and he advised me it was not. I have never bothered to look up the statute.

As for California under the exemption of 632(b)
He can tape his own conversations.

I have never encountered the Business Privacy Law you referenced. I concede to your experience. I am interested to know, where else an expectation of privacy would supercede state law?
Without taking anything you asked out of context -

No, it's not legal.

Other information you didn't ask would need to be reviewed by a legal specialist.
Is the conversation between you and your boss? The laws vary from state to state. In WV it is perfectly legal to record a phone conversation as long as one of the parties involved in the conversation knows. For example: Jim calls his friend Scott. Scott records the conversation so he knows it is being recorded, thus it is legal, even though Jim may have no idea that it is being recorded.
depends on what state are you in. In some states is against the law to record someone without their consent.
i would ask an attorney if you can do it. i think it sounds like a great idea. you probably would not get to use it in court , but it might work with your HR department.
we are talking about in-person, right, not on phone? Can't see why it wouldn't be legal.
I would say yes and no, but to be sure I would check with an attorney. If your are trying to get something like sexual harassment or anything like that I'd say yes, but if it is for other reasons such as black mail or something less scrupulous check with an attorney in your area
I did it and got the hag fired hide it i taped mine in my bra
It depends on if you're in the U.S. and if you're talking about at the office. Since you said "in your desk" then I assume you are talking about the office.

Well you have two problems.

EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY which is illegal in all 50 states and;

Violation of Privacy laws of the business. You can be fired on the spot, the tape confiscated as evidence and you can be arrested for Illegal wiretapping.

If you think the wiretapping laws ONLY affect electronic recording, I suggest you either go to law school or read
18 USC 2510, et seq, The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.


First, for all of you who said Yes, without first knowning the state, please post here for the asker exactly the state or federal statute which supports your answer.

The plain fact is, both employers and employees enjoy an expectation of privacy. This is NOT a phone matter within a state stautory meaning since the poster said "In my desk".

This is a simply privacy issue.

And if you think I'm wrong, please feel free to cite case law. I am an attorney who has practiced for 35 years. I would love to educate you on the matter.


I suggest you read Reich v. Purcell (1967) 67
Cal.2d 551; Hurtado v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 574; Bernhard v. Harrah’s Club (1976) 16 Cal.3d 313; Offshore Rental Co. v. Continental Oil Co. (1978) 22 Cal.3d 157 (Offshore Rental),Vons Companies, Inc. v. Seabest Foods, Inc. (1996) 14 Cal.4th 434, 445-446 AND Title III of the Federal Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-2520,

Then you might want to change some of your answers.
As long as you do not do it over the phone! It's not wire taping if put in drawer or in you pocket. Also if you do it over the phone if you have a beep every 7 seconds you do not even have to tell them thats what the beep is for.
yes you can record the conversation.the law says as long as one of you know that is all that is required.if a third person taped you and you boss without permission then that would not be allowed and not admissable
Generally, it is not legal to audio record someone without their knowledge.

But--I am saying again--laws vary from place to place!

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