Every year, smartphones are viewed less as a luxury and more as a necessity. In 2017, it is estimated that 229.7 million people will own smartphones in the US alone, and that number is projected to keep rising. What people might not realize is that everyone who owns a smartphone also has access to a recording device, and those devices are increasingly being used to record each other in the workplace.
In September of this year, Gretchen Carlson, well-known Fox news anchor, revealed that she had been using her smartphone to secretly record private meetings with her boss Roger Ailes for two years in order to expose inappropriate sexual conduct. Carlson is now suing Ailes for sexual harassment, using recordings of her former boss saying things like, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you'd be good and better and I'd be good and better. Sometimes problems are easier to solve.”
New York Magazine reports that it was “common knowledge at Fox that Ailes frequently made inappropriate comments to women in private meetings and asked them to twirl around so he could examine their figures.” Although Ailes denies the allegations, he resigned from his post at Fox just weeks after the investigation began.
In another case where employees are using social media and technology to expose discriminatory treatment, Haines City, Florida resident Walter Boarders was so perturbed by a voicemail that his employer left him on his smartphone that he posted the recording on Facebook, where it was viewed over 12,000 times in 24 hours.
Boarders had been scheduled to work, but was still grieving after attending “his auntie's” funeral the day before, and texted his boss at Nikko's Egg City restaurant to let the manager “Jerry” know that he wouldn't be able to come in. Jerry refused to give reporters his last name.
In the recording, you can hear the manager insult and berate Boarders using racial slurs and expletives. In a second voicemail, sent after Boarders posted the first one on Facebook, Jerry threatens to call social security and continues to insult Boarders. Later, Boarders' mother allegedly received a phone call during which Jerry threatened Boarders' life if he did not take the recording down.
Unfair treatment by your employer can make you feel like you're out of options and push you to extreme measures. If you suspect you are being discriminated against in the workplace, you need someone knowledgeable and experienced who will fight for your rights. At Benassi & Benassi, our attorneys have focused their legal expertise on workplace discrimination law for decades and know how to get you the justice you deserve and equality under the law.