I was in jeopardy of losing my job so when I was called into a meeting with my boss I recorded without their knowledge for my own use because I was so scared I knew I wouldn't remember the conversation and I wanted to listen later to be sure I made all the corrections wanted of me. When asked during that meeting if I was recording, I did not lie. I said yes. I was asked to give a copy but wanted to wait to see if my boss would do as he said so I could correct my problems. He did not. Instead he called the company lawyer to see if he could fire me for recording and that is what he did. I am deathly afraid waiting for him to have me arrested. What kind of sentencing am I facing?

  • rcfp.org/reporters-recording-guide/state-state-guide/… ... if you are prosecuted I suppose you can hope for leniency from a jury.... – feetwet Jun 1 '16 at 20:26
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    You should get some real legal advice, not ask random strangers on the Internet whether you should be worried. If your former employer really doesn't like you and is willing to press charges, you could be facing a felony. palegalaid.net/resources/clients Only someone who knows PA law and the entire situation (including answers to questions they might know to ask and we wouldn't) can advise you properly. – ColleenV Jun 1 '16 at 20:27

I am not a lawyer either, though I have been through Pennsylvania a few times. The relevant law is 18 Pa.C.S. 5703, which prohibits recording without consent of all parties (Penna is a "two-party consent" state, like Florida and Washington). Unfortunately, violation of that law is a third degree felony, which has a maximum of 7 year prison. A specific instance of someone getting in trouble for recording their boss is Commonwealth v. Smith (Smith used a cell phone to record his boss, then argued that a cell phone isn't a "device"; the court determined that it is, and that was Feb 16 2016 so who knows the final outcome). An attorney in Pennsylvania might be able to tell you how often people actually serve time for violating the law. You should call one.

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    +1 I learned something important today! Good job. – Patrick87 Jun 1 '16 at 22:02

I am not a lawyer. I have never set foot in Pennsylvania.

This is America. You are not going to jail because you recorded a conversation without consent. Using that conversation in certain ways may not be allowed (may be invalid as evidence) or cause other problems (if you sell a recording or release it in violation of a NDA), but jail? Nah.

Calm down, relax, and find a new job somewhere less awful.

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    Actually it is a 3rd degree felony (Not more than seven years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines) to record without consent in PA, unless there was no expectation of privacy. If the meeting was behind closed doors, it's not impossible to end up going to jail, even though it is unlikely. – ColleenV Jun 1 '16 at 20:23
  • @ColleenV Please add that as an answer with a reference / citation. I'll let this answer stand to demonstrate that common sense can lead you astray in matters of law. Perhaps also comment on the likelihood of prosecution and conviction by citing similar cases. – Patrick87 Jun 1 '16 at 22:00

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