Pennsylvania employment law alert: Easton, PA Walmart sued for videotaping inside a bathroom

Legal news for Pennsylvania employment attorneys. A lawsuit was filed against Walmart after the discovery of a camcorder in the bathroom.

Employment lawyer alert- Walmart Supercenter slapped with a lawsuit for having a surveillance camera in a unisex bathroom.

Easton, PA—Several former and current Walmart Supercenter employees filed a lawsuit which claimed the retailer videotaped employees and customers in a unisex bathroom. Seven former and current Tire and Lube department employees filed the lawsuit on December 21, 2009 in a county court, as reported by ABC News.

The lawsuit, which could board on criminal activity, named the Arkansas-based retailer along with four local managers. The suit was filed after several Walmart employees found the “off-the-shelf” video camera in a unisex store bathroom on March 31, 2008. Employees and customers, who were not notified of the surveillance, also used the bathroom where the camcorder was discovered, as a changing room. Walmart claimed two workers at the store were responsible for the camera. A Walmart spokesperson stated, “Two associates were terminated for placing a camera in an associate dressing room bathroom… When store management learned of the camera, it was immediately removed.” But the court filings stated the retailer’s loss-prevention unit put the video camera there. The lawsuit further alleges that the camcorder was utilized to watch employees for shoplifting, and it is unknown how long the camera was in place. None of the plaintiffs were accused of stealing. In addition, a manager only admitted to the existence of the surveillance camera after employees produced a photo of the camera inside the restroom. Reportedly, three of the plaintiffs were fired after complaining to management about the camcorder in the bathroom.

The lawsuit also alleges that Walmart violated the federal and state wiretapping laws, invasion of employees’ and customers’ privacy, wrongful discharge, and violation of worker and civil rights practices. The lawsuit is seeking over $500,000 in damages.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Pennsylvania employment lawyers.