© All rights reserved to Barnea Jaffa Lande Law offices

Together is powerful

Surveillance Cameras in Workplaces and Employment Conditions

The Regional Labor Court in Tel Aviv recently ruled that an employer that installed surveillance cameras in the workplace caused a tangible adverse change in its employee’s employment conditions. The employee resigned from her job and claimed that her resignation was tantamount to dismissal. Her employer dismissed her claim, but the labor court rejected the employer’s position, found in favor of the plaintiff, and deemed her resignation as tantamount to dismissal under the law.


In this case, the employer installed surveillance cameras in public spaces in the office, in a way that extensively photographed the employee’s work environment. The cameras continuously captured the employee (from her front and her back), her workstation, desk, computer screen, and various objects around her workstation. The employee protested the installation of the surveillance cameras to her employer, but the employer ignored her protest and dismissed her, claiming other public places also use cameras, such as banks and retail chains, and that the employee was not protesting them.


During the hearing, the labor court criticized the employer for not acting in compliance with the Privacy Protection Authority’s guidelines regarding the use of surveillance cameras in workplaces, for not holding any dialogue with the employee, and for acting in complete disregard of her complaints and position regarding the installation of the cameras. After determining the employee resigned shortly after the employer ignored her requests, the court deemed this resignation as a resignation on the grounds of a tangible adverse change in employment conditions, entitling the employee to severance pay (valued at hundreds of thousands of shekels).

Protection of Employees’ Privacy

The labor court’s ruling joins a previous ruling addressing the protection of employees’ privacy and adopts the Privacy Protection Authority’s guidelines on the use of surveillance cameras in workplaces. These include, inter alia, the setting of a clear policy regarding the installation of surveillance cameras and presenting this policy to employees before beginning to use surveillance cameras.

Guidelines for Installing and Using Surveillance Cameras in Workplaces

Considering the Privacy Protection Authority’s guidelines and the regional labor court’s ruling, employers that want to install surveillance cameras in workplaces must conduct themselves reasonably and responsibly, as well as diligently protect their employees’ right to privacy. Inter alia, employers should:


  1. Examine the necessity of installing surveillance cameras and the possibility of achieving their purpose in less intrusive ways.
  2. Examine the particular locations for installing surveillance cameras to avoid infringing on any specific employee’s privacy to the extent possible.
  3. Inform employees of the existence and the locations of surveillance cameras in the workplace and about the reasons for their use. If necessary, hold a dialogue with the employees to hear their position before installing the cameras (especially when the installation of surveillance cameras could violate the employees’ privacy).

The regional labor court’s ruling should be read critically. Nevertheless, it is clear the employer’s conduct in the specific case was inconsistent with the labor court’s position on how to manage labor relations. It is conceivable the outcome of the legal proceeding may have been different, had the employer been more attentive to its employee and conducted itself with some degree of openness.


We note this was a guidance ruling rather than a binding ruling, and an appeal of this ruling has not yet been filed with the National Labor Court.




Barnea Jaffa Lande’s Privacy and Employment departments are at your service to answer any questions about the right to privacy in the workplace and about preparations for using surveillance cameras in workplaces.


Adv. Netta Bromberg heads Barnea Jaffa Lande’s Employment Department.


Dr. Avishay Klein heads the firm’s Privacy, Data Protection and Cyber Department.


Adv. Masha Yudashkin is an associate in the firm’s Privacy, Data Protection and Cyber Department.


Tags: Employee surveillance | employment conditions | Privacy