Perhaps you saw the news this weekend that on the eve of launching her new book, Omarosa Manigault Newman (former White House political aide and reality-TV alum) has produced what she contends is a secret workplace recording of White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, firing her.  Just this morning Omarosa released another tape which appears to be President Trump claiming to have no idea Mr. Kelly was going to fire her.  (That’s another post for another day).

Many people have remarked that Omarosa’s workplace recordings are egregious security violations.  Apparently, employees are not even allowed to have cell phones in the Situation Room let alone use them to surreptitiously record discussions.  Omarosa could be in big trouble and god knows what other recordings she has.

But let’s pretend that Omarosa was not a White House employee and was, instead, just a regular employee of a typical Illinois corporation.  Would Omarosa be in trouble then?  Yes, she would.

Illinois is one of eleven states that require two-party consent to the recording of a private conversation.  In the rest of the 39 states, only one party’s consent is needed.

I wrote about the Illinois Eavesdropping statute before and the dangers it poses to those who decide to secretly record workplace conversations.

Most of our clients who have done this (and there have been many over the years) had no idea doing so was illegal, let alone that it is criminal.  Moreover, if a client decides to file a lawsuit, a recording like this would have to be produced in discovery which means the employer would find out about it and could take legal action.  Given this risk, most employees who record conversations decide not to pursue their claims because the risks are too high.

The moral of the story?  Even if you’re not a White House employee like Omarosa, don’t record workplace conversations.  In Illinois at least, the benefits are never worth the risks.