When a California worker is injured during the normal course of duty in his or her workplace, he or she is typically entitled to benefits to help pay medical bills and provide wage replacement. Reportedly, many employers, throughout the United States have installed video camera equipment in the workplace in an effort to conduct surveillance of employees while they do their jobs. They do so to ensure that workers' compensation claims filed after an alleged accident are valid. However, some say employers have gone too far, in some situations, by hiring investigators to film injured workers in their private lives.
California is apparently known for being a state that has extremely strict laws regarding stalking. These laws are meant to help protect citizens and make certain that any surveillance conducted is done so in a lawful manner. Anyone convicted of harassing or following another person, or, acting toward him or her in such a way that he or she feels threatened can incur severe penalties under the law, including up to a year in prison.
An investigator conducting surveillance is able to do so within the public arena, meaning, an injured worker could be filmed while he or she is in public. However, a worker has every right to maintain his or her privacy. Therefore, being secretly filmed inside one's home or while in another area not typically seen in public would potentially be considered unlawful.
The issues surrounding workers' compensation can sometimes be very complex and the system difficult to navigate. Any California worker who has questions about filing a claim, or one who believes that his or her rights of privacy have been invaded, can request a consultation with an experienced legal professional in the area. A lawyer would be able to offer clarification and guidance in order to protect one's rights and obtain any benefits to which one might be entitled.
Source: businessinsurance.com, "Filming comp cheats carries privacy risks", Gloria Gonzalez, Oct. 25, 2015