Often times, employees believing they are being discriminated against by their employer because of their age, gender, religions, race, or disability tell their employment attorney, “my boss said that I was too old” or “my boss was telling racists or sexist jokes all the time.” Then, when I ask them what evidence they have to support their claim, they realize they have none but their own word. That is when I tell them (assuming they have not been separated from the company yet) to consider record their conversations with their employers, so long as no Company policy exists prohibiting recording. “I can do that?” The answer is – yes!
Ohio is what is called a “one party state” which means that recording meetings, telephone conferences, and casual conversations is perfectly legal so long as “one party” to the conversation knows that the conversation is being recording. In the above example, if that one party that knows the conversation is being recorded happens to be the person doing the recording, that is enough. Ohio Revised Code §2933.52(B)(4) expressly carves out an exception to Ohio’s wiretapping law allowing a party to record a conversation, including telephone calls.
The next question is whether the recording is admissible in Court. Usually, the answer is yes. In Ohio, so long as the person who recorded the conversation can state that: (1) the tape is a fair and accurate rendition of the conversation, (2) he or she can identify the voices on the tape, (3) the tape recorder was in good working order, and (4) you can testify who has had possession of the tape, the tape can be admitted into evidence.
So, next time you are having a conversation with your employer and you feel that it demonstrates discrimination, consider recording it!
By: Nicholas W. Yaeger