I work part time at Walmart and two CSM's called me into the office to tell me about a transaction that happened earlier in the month. They claimed I let a customer walk away without paying for a minute card. They also said they had me on tape doing so. I asked to view the tape and they said “he” (whoever that is) would only let certain people view it. I kept telling them I would never knowingly let someone walk out without paying. After further questioning they said I couldn't view the tape, but it appeared the customer didn't actually leave without paying. He paid at another register because he had to go outside for more money and I was busy by the time he came back. Fortunately, I remembered and could take up for myself. What if I hadn't? Is it legally right for them NOT to show me?
It is legal not to show you the tape. An employer is not obligated to disclose surveillance tapes to employees unless subpoenaed in litigation. The primary reason for that is security. If employees knew the limitations of the surveillance system, crime would increase.
I provided this response for informational purposes only, and nothing stated should be construed as legal advice specific to your situation since I have not been provided with all the facts and details. If you would like to consult directly with me, you would have to contact me privately for a consultation. Even then, I am not your attorney unless you and I sign an agreement to that effect. I am not licensed to practice law in any state other than California and this response is not intended to be considered as a solicitation of legal services. Please consider how much you have paid for this response before relying on it to determine your legal rights and obligations.
They have no obligation to show you the video. It would be different if there was a law suit or criminal proceeding. Then you may get to see it for purposes of discovery.
They may not be showing you because they may have a hidden camera concealed in a spot that they do not want employees to be aware of. Like a cash drawer camera, etc. Employees may act to conceal their actions if they know where the camera is.
But, you did the right thing in standing up.
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