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Addressing Employees' Emotional Well-Being After Discovering a Video Recording Device in a Restroom

by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D.

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

As an employer, ensuring the emotional well-being of your employees is crucial for maintaining a healthy work environment. However, when faced with a challenging situation, such as discovering a video recording device in the restroom, it becomes essential to take immediate action to address the incident and support the affected individuals. This article provides guidance for employers on how to effectively respond to incidents like these, while prioritizing the emotional well-being of their employees.

1. Swift Action and Transparency:

Upon learning about the privacy breach, an employer should take immediate action to involve law enforcement investigative agencies. Transparently communicate the incident to all employees, emphasizing the gravity of the situation and reinforcing the company's commitment to maintaining a safe and respectful workplace. (Ruggs, E.N., & Hebl, M.R., 2012)

2. Provide Psychological Support:

Employees affected by the incident may experience a range of emotional reactions, including shock, anger, fear, and vulnerability. Arrange for professional psychological support, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), counseling services, or access to trauma therapists, to help individuals cope with the aftermath of the incident. Create a safe space for employees to share their concerns and fears without judgment or retaliation. (Diestel, S., Schmidt, K.H., & Rees, C., 2018)

3. Conduct Thorough Investigations:

To demonstrate your commitment to your employees’ well-being, a comprehensive investigation should be conducted to determine the extent of the breach, the individuals impacted, and any potential accomplices involved. Demonstrate zero tolerance for such behavior, assuring employees that the perpetrating individual will be held accountable by the law. (Dworkin, T.M., Sharma, G., Eldred-Skemp, N., & Lichtenstein, B., 2020)

4. Reassuring and Transparent Communication:

Maintain open lines of communication with employees throughout the investigation process, providing regular updates and ensuring that their concerns are being addressed. Reiterate the steps being taken to prevent similar incidents in the future, including reviewing and enhancing security measures, increasing bathroom checks, and implementing stricter access control policies. (Rupp, D.E., Shantz, A.D., & Paddock, E.L., 2017)

5. Employee Privacy Education:

While addressing the incident, use it as an opportunity to educate employees about their rights to privacy and the company's commitment to upholding confidentiality and security. Conduct workshops or training sessions on privacy awareness, outlining protocols for reporting suspicious behavior or breach incidents. Ensure that employees understand their role in maintaining a safe working environment and the importance of reporting any infractions promptly. (Martín-Alcázar, F., Romero-Fernández, P.M., & Sánchez-Gardey, G., 2018)

6. Establish a Retaliation-Free Environment:

Create and foster a workplace culture where individuals feel safe from retaliation if they report suspicious activities or breach incidents. Assure employees that their well-being is a top priority and that they will be protected from any form of retaliation for speaking up. Encourage an atmosphere of trust and support where employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns and seeking assistance. (Baaij, M.G., van Dijk, H., & van Witteloostuijn, A., 2015)


Addressing the emotional well-being of employees after discovering a privacy breach is not an optional step; it is a moral and legal obligation for employers. Swift action, transparent communication, providing psychological support, conducting thorough investigations, providing privacy education, and establishing a retaliation-free environment are key strategies to address employees' emotional well-being in the aftermath of such incidents. By taking these steps, employers demonstrate accountability, care, and commitment to ensuring a safe and respectful workplace for all employees.


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