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Big News for Illinois Employers: Illinois Lifts Restrictions on Eavesdropping!

May 2014

By: Ryan M. Helgeson, Esq.

Illinois no longer has a law governing eavesdropping. On March 20, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court decided two cases, striking down the law that criminalized the recording of conversations without all parties' consent as unconstitutional. Now, instead of being a state that requires all parties to consent prior to a conversation being recorded, in Illinois only one party to a conversation has to give consent.

Thus, until the Illinois legislature drafts and passes a new eavesdropping law, people are free to tape any of their own conversations, whether they are public or private, and whether the other parties have consented or not. Prior to these rulings, Illinois employers had, generally, been able to maintain their workplaces free from concern over the recording of management conversations. Now, employees no longer have the law deterring them from recording their conversation with management or human resources personnel.

In light of this development, employers should implement and disseminate employment policies that establish the employer's expectations regarding the use of recording devices in the workplace, up to and including prohibiting the use of recording devices during human resources and management meetings. Additionally, management and human resources personnel should be reminded to use care when talking to employees about work-related matters.

If you have questions about this or any other employee handbook issue, Attorney Ryan Helgeson is happy to help you. Please contact Ryan at (630) 377-1554 or at ryhelgeson@wesselssherman.com.