Human Resources/phone recording


My question is… I have a co worker who came into my office and asked me to send her a memo. I showed her the memo on the computer that she wanted while she was at my desk so I knew I had the right one. She came back to my desk and I had another co worker in my office and she started yelling at me and hitting the wrong paper and yelling that I don’t know how to tell you any different that I need a different memo. Besides the other co worker sitting in my office others in their cubicles around us heard all of this.

The next week I set up a one on one meeting in a conference room at work and had a one on one with her trying to see if we could “improve my processes with her” and therefore reduce conflicts.
So that I had notes to refer to I recorded the meeting on my cell phone. I did not tell her that I was recording it.

I typed up my notes and gave them to HR and let them know the meeting did not go well and she was degrading thought the meeting.  
Some of the things she said to me I need to find another job, that this is not the best fit for me, I have no organization skills, I do not have any detective or problem-solving skills.
HR is talking with her manager I do not have an outcome yet, but if it comes down to you said and said can I use the recording as my backup? I live in Utah and work for a nonprofit organization


Thank you for the question.  It is more a legal question than Human Resources, but although I am not a lawyer, I can try to help.

So it sounds like you used the notes from the private meeting with your supervisor,  and the tape recording (cell phone recording),  to serve as a reminder of what was said to you in the meeting.  You wrote this report and sent it  to HR to document how badly the meeting went as the supervisor was degrading you.  You felt the meeting did not help improve relations or communications at all due to how the supervisor treated you.   So, you are waiting to hear from HR on what will happen next and if you are accused of "lying/ making things up" from your written notes.   If you are accused of stretching the truth, you want to produce the recording to let them listen to it for themselves and hear how you were treated.

Did I get this right ?

What you suggest is fine, I hope you get better treatment from your supervisor after all the information is reviewed.   Keep in mind, just because you are "right" doesn't mean you still wont suffer some other discipline or action.  Who knows.   Maybe the supervisor will retaliate?  If so, let HR know again and keep them in the loop on your supervisor.

YES, you may use the recording without fear of legal action.  From my online research just now, Utah law allows "one party" consent for recording calls or discussions.  One party applies to both you and the supervisor since you are both in Utah.  So, one party  ( YOU) knew the meeting was being recorded and therefore this is legal.  You did not need to disclose this meeting was being recorded.

HOWEVER,  If you were in one of the other states who require "two parties"(All parties - two or more present), this means everyone in the meeting must consent to being recorded.  Pennsylvania where I am is one of these two party consent states.  So, if you did this secret recording in Pennsylvania,  even if it was to prove a criminal case or whatever,  you could be spending time in Jail for wiretapping which would violate state and federal law.  If the police or the supervisor (If in PA)  found out, they could press charges against you -  then jail.   

So, Use the recording if needed since you both were in Utah.

I hope you find this helpful.

Brian PHillips

Human Resources

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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

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* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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