Do Nannies Have “Justifiable Expectation” That They Won’t Be Audiorecorded at Work?
The facts, from Commonwealth v. Mason, decided last week by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court:
Eric Valle … hired Appellee to act as a nanny for his children and, in doing so, prohibited her from using corporal punishment on the children. Approximately one month after Appellee commenced working for Valle, Valle’s three-year-old son reported that Appellee was “thumbing” him in the face and hitting his twin two-year-old sisters. Around that same time, Valle observed that one of the twins had a “busted lip” and that his son occasionally had marks on his face.
Valle asked Appellee about his daughter’s injured lip, and Appellee initially could not offer an explanation. The following day, however, she suggested that the child may have injured herself while attempting to climb out of her playpen. Valle was skeptical of this possibility given that his daughter suffered no other injuries that would indicate that she fell from her playpen. Of further note, Appellee told Valle that she did not know why his son would claim that she was “thumbing” his face or that she was striking the twins.
Additionally, after Appellee began to care for the children, Valle noticed a shift in their behavior. For example, if Valle raised his voice, his daughter would cover her face, a behavior that she did not exhibit prior to Appellee’s employment with the family. Indeed, it appeared to Valle that his children were afraid of Appellee.
Approximately two months after Valle’s son reported these incidents to him and Valle confronted Appellee, Valle placed a camera in his children’s bedroom. The camera captured sound and video of its surroundings. Valle purposely did not inform Appellee of the presence of the camera. At some point, the camera recorded Appellee yelling at one child before forcefully placing her into a crib located inside of the bedroom where the camera was recording. Audio portions of the recording also suggest that Appellee may have struck the child several times. Valle gave the
Article from Latest – Reason.com