[Above]   a photo depicting a female using a bathroom toilet. The photo is not related to the Forever21 Employee Bathroom case below.

A former Forever 21 staffer is taking the retail superstore to court for negligence and invasion of privacy after discovering that a video of her using the workplace bathroom has been shared on “multiple pornographic web site platforms,” according to court documents.

On Nov. 29, a former employee known only as Jane Doe filed the complaint in New York federal court, claiming a hidden camera was placed in the single employee restroom at the Forever 21 store in Providence Place Mall in Providence, R.I. 

Doe v Forever21 Complaint by Syndicated News SNN.BZ on Scribd

Doe, who was a resident of New York at the time, worked at the Providence retail outlet through the spring and summer of 2011 while studying at Providence College.  The surreptitious video footage apparently came to Doe’s attention on Dec. 9, 2016, after it surfaced on porn sites.

This photo is unrelated to the case.

In court papers, Doe slammed the Los Angeles-based fast fashion giant on multiple counts of negligence, claiming that “extreme emotional damages” from the incident should be valued at $2 million or more. She believes the store is at fault as it “did not equip the employee locker room with any security system/security features to capture or keep a record of non-store employees and/or other unauthorized persons entering into the area designated as the employee locker room of the employee restroom.”

Further, Forever 21’s heedlessness directly violated Rhode Island’s right to privacy laws, she claims.

News of the lawsuit comes just days after a man in Washington state was accused of videotaping a mother and her 12-year-old daughter as they tried on clothes at a Forever 21 location in Olympia, The Olympian reports.

Forever 21 offered the following statement to Fox News regarding the incident:

“Per our company policy, we are unable to comment on pending litigation, however we want to make it clear that Forever 21 takes the privacy of our team members extremely seriously. We have zero tolerance for any type of inappropriate behavior, and we are committed to making Forever 21 a safe space for all employees, without exception,” a company spokesperson said.

“We have been actively investigating this matter, which has involved law enforcement, our legal team, and national investigation teams.  We are committed to our employees and will continue to search out those responsible for this heinous act,” they added. 


‘I’m a guy, man, so this kind of stuff happens,’ says alleged dressing room filmer


BY AMELIA DICKSON AND ROLF BOONE

A 31-year-old man is accused of taking video of a woman and her 12-year-old daughter as they tried on clothes Friday at a clothing store, according to the Olympia Police Department.

 

Efrain Ramirez-Ventura appeared Monday afternoon before Thurston County Superior Court Commissioner Nathan Kortokrax. He is accused of filming a woman and her 12-year-old daughter in a dressing room

The incident took place at Forever 21, a store at Capital Mall in west Olympia.

Efrain Ramirez-Ventura appeared Monday before Thurston County Superior Court Commissioner Nathan Kortokrax. The commissioner found probable cause to charge Ramirez-Ventura with two counts of voyeurism, and set bail at $3,500.

He also was ordered not to visit shopping malls or facilities with dressing rooms.

When police searched Ramirez-Ventura’s phone, they found more than 80 videos filmed in dressing rooms, according to court documents. He allegedly told police that he had been recording women in dressing rooms for “a while.”

“I’m a guy, man, so this kind of stuff happens,” Ramirez-Ventura said, according to court documents.

The Olympia Police Department responded to Forever 21 on Friday after a store employee saw an iPhone sitting in a shoe on the floor of one of the dressing rooms. She noticed that the phone was recording video of the neighboring fitting room.

A mother and her 12-year-old daughter were in the second fitting room trying on clothes.

When officers arrived, they arrested Ramirez-Ventura and confiscated two iPhones, according to court documents. Ramirez-Ventura initially said that he planned to take the phones to be repaired after trying on clothes.

He said that he used one of the phones to take photos of himself in the fitting room. He also said that the phone sometimes starts recording by itself, according to court documents.

However, Ramirez-Ventura eventually admitted to using the phone to record women changing.


More video surveillance in the workplace. But is it legal?

With more than half (55 percent) of employers surveyed by the American Management Association already using video monitoring, employers should understand the legal limits on video surveillance in the workplace and on workers’ expectations of privacy.

Why Would Employers Record Employees on Video?

A majority of employers (48 percent) rely on video monitoring to counter theft, violence and sabotage, but 7 percent admitted they use video surveillance to gauge workers’ performance. The areas under video surveillance may include areas to which the public has access, but many employers also monitor areas considered sensitive – like areas requiring security clearances, for example. According to the employer survey, more than 75 percent of employers using video surveillance notify employees that they may be captured on video.

Is there a Federal Law Against Video Surveillance in the Workplace?

There is no explicit prohibition or limitation in U.S. federal law against employers monitoring the workplace – except in the case of monitoring workers engaging in protected concerted activity (see below). Although elements of the Federal Wiretapping/Electronic Communications Privacy Act broadly apply to workplace video surveillance, the Act lacks specificity, leaving it to the states to define what constitutes acceptable video monitoring practices in the workplace.

Federal Law Exception: Video Surveillance of Protected Concerted Activity Prohibited

If your workers are participating in union organization or worker solidarity marches, it’s best to turn off those cameras. Those employees are considered to be exercising their right to protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Employers may not monitor employees during these protected activities.

In a recent decision by a National Labor Relations Administrative Law Judge, Boeing Corporation was instructed to cease and desist from:

  • Photographing and videotaping employees engaged in workplace marches and rallies and/or near its property.
  • Creating the impression that its employees’ union and/or protected concerted activities are under surveillance.
  • Interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights.

The NLRB determined that Boeing’s photography and video surveillance of employees during union solidarity marches interfered with workers’ right to organize and improve working conditions.

Employer Limits on Video Surveillance Depends on State Laws

In addition to protected concerted activity protected by U.S. federal law, certain states have placed their own limits on video surveillance.

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