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'I'm fairly certain my coworker records us in the male restroom. What can we do?' UPDATED

'I'm fairly certain my coworker records us in the male restroom. What can we do?' UPDATED

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You can know with your entire gut that someone is pulling off a creepy act, but accusing them of it requires a whole other level of evidence and conviction.

In a popular post on the Relationships subreddit, a man asked for advice on how to handle a creepy coworker. He wrote:

"My coworker is almost certainly recording myself and others in the male restroom. What can we do?"

Me and a group of six of us at work are almost certain our coworker is recording us in the bathroom with his phone. Our work bathroom has two stalls; one much bigger stall and a smaller stall right next to it. My first month into my job I went into the big stall to use the bathroom. While I was in there a person entered the small stall next to me.

Once they sat down I glanced over and noticed their phone was in their pocket, positioned in a way where, if it was recording, it would have a full view of me in the stall. I was weirded out by this and quickly left. I thought nothing of it until a few months later I was chatting with some of my office friend and they all had similar experiences.

One guy, after it happened to him three or so times, waited outside the bathroom to confirm who it was. Now we all know who it is and have his shoes memorized so we can recognize them if he sits down in the stall next to us again. The most recent occurrence was the most telling. I recently got my friend on board and told him all about the guy who is probably recording us and told him what to look out for.

A week into the job the recording coworker added my friend on our office Skype (presumably to see when his status was "Away," which means you are either in a meeting or in the bathroom). This was especially weird because these two have never had an interaction before.

This put my friend on alert and that day when he went to use the bathroom he heard someone enter the small stall and, you guessed it, he recognized the shoes immediately and saw the phone positioned in the guy in the small stalls pants in the perfect position to record. I would maybe be willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe he just puts his phone in his pocket and stares at the stall door. Maybe it just happens to be sticking out of his pocket with the camera lens fully visible. I would maybe see that side of things except that my other coworker made eye contact with him, once. He was peeing in the small stall and the coworker we believe is recording us stood at the urinal closest to small stall.

There is a gap between the wall of the stall and urinal, and the wall is made of tile. The tile has a ton of reflection it's almost like a mirror. My coworker in the small stall glanced to his right and saw the reflection of a face pressed against the wall. My coworker in the small stall then leaned forward and put his face against the wall and they made eye contact for a second. The guy is a creep.

What the hell do we do about this? I can't 100% say his phone is recording when it is in his pants around his ankles, but there are too many of us with accounts of this. He just happens to have his phone in the perfect position to record and he just twiddles his thumbs? I don't buy it.

The coworker we think is recording us knows that there is no way we can prove he is recording, and he has never been caught so he keeps doing it. It makes work very uncomfortable. Can we call the integrity hotline and report that we think someone is recording us? What could they possibly do?

If the guy is recording us and if the guy is smart he probably puts the videos on his computer and deletes them off his phone. I can't see them being able to do anything. And we can't go to management about this with nothing but just a very strong hunch. The accusation is absolutely massive.

What, if anything, can we do about this?

TL;DR - Coworker puts his phone in a position to record anyone in the stall next to him in the restroom. Almost certain he is recording his male coworkers in the bathroom. No idea if we can do anything.

Redditors had a lot of comments and question about the situation.

SkeepersRabbit wrote:

Can you get a picture of his phone where it's positioned like it's recording you? Add that to multiple complaints of others who have witnessed the same and take it to HR.

OP responded:

Yeah that's my plan next time it happens. I will take a picture of it. I wish there was a way to tell if his phone is recording, though.

s_tegosaurus wrote:

Go into the stall. Fully clothed, and when he comes in, bend down and take his phone. Check to see if it is indeed recording. If not just laugh it off as a practical joke. But if it is recording, keep his phone as evidence and go straight to HR.

OP responded:

If I'm wrong and it's not recording I will almost certainly be fired.

Crashie62 wrote:

If he’s in the small stall, you could accidentally ‘trip’ and squash that phone to pieces.

OP responded:

I don't want to destroy his phone I want to prove he is doing it.

Scr0tat0 wrote:

Bring a whiteboard and markers with you. Write him a message and point it at the camera for him to read. You know this guy better than me, so you can decide what to write. Enthusiasm and like mindedness or a promise to call the police, or anything in between.

Or just a message on your own phone, but make the text big enough for him to read. Anything you write, he won't be able to bring to HR without admitting what he's been doing. You'll just have to gague his reaction or entice him into more overt action.

TelephoneShoes wrote:

Is the phone always in the same position when this happens? For example, does it appear to be “positioned” in his pocket the same way each time or is it different? If it’s different, he may just have small pockets (not sure what your dress code is, if he wears the same type of pants to work everyday...etc.

Just a thought. I honestly don’t know how to go about this in a way (for you anyway) that keeps you from being overt or putting yourself at risk with HR if you’re wrong. Please give us an update. Weird...but I’m interested to know if the dude gets caught/consequences or whatever.

OP responded:

No it's always different. When he goes into the stall he takes a minute or two to adjust the phone in his pocket before sitting down. It is clearly on purpose.

Eight months later, OP returned with an upate.

So it's been awhile since my original post so I figured I'd give a quick update. I took some advice I received on this post and decided we needed to take action. I couldn't stand having this guy be around anymore, receiving praise from his coworkers while none of them know what was truly happening. I talked with a few of my coworkers about it and we started looking into our options.

Our company offers a hotline to report incidents just like this, completely anonymously. Finally, after a little bit of debate, one of us called the hotline and reported the incidents. We waited to see what would happen. Eventually the security team reached back out to him and asked him for more information. They said they are building a case and they need as much information as possible.

After hearing this, the rest of the us decided to report our cases to further aid in the building of the case. I remember the security officer telling me that things are going to "move quickly." Well I guess in a big company they don't f#$k around with this. Less than a month after the initial report was filed the creepy AH was fired.

The entire department was told to meet in a meeting room real quick for some news and management laid it on us that he was gone. He was a highly respected coworker who was really good at his job. The news was met with shock, especially since some layoffs had occurred recently. I remember my heart absolutely racing when the news was being given. I couldn't believe that it was happening.

I really didn't think some anonymous reports would lead to action so quickly. The creepy guy was friends with some of the women in our department, and he was texting them constantly saying that he was innocent. He quit pretty quickly once they weren't having any of what he was saying. The rumors of why he was fired spread really quickly around the office, but fizzled out faster than I was expecting.

I really thought this would be going around the office for months, but after two weeks or so people stopped talking about it and things returned to normal. I really appreciate the advice on here. It was extremely helpful in my decision, and it worked out for the best.

TL;DR: If you want to take pictures of your coworkers in the bathroom and you like your job, then maybe reconsider. Coworker fired for this very thing after being reported.

The internet was relieved to get an update, particularly one where OP's coworker faced consequences for his creepiness.

DarthTechnicus wrote:

Pretty creepy stuff. Someone who worked under me was caught doing something similar in a private residence. The people called the cops and he was pretty quickly arrested and is now a registered s*x offender. It's good that your issue was reported to your company hotline, but realistically, this should be reported to police also.

Capturing images of someone in a restroom without their consent is a f*lony.

Edit: Odds are this person has done this before to other people.

TearsandNetsec wrote:

Those anonymous reports go to Legal and HR, and they take them seriously because their job is to protect the company from liability. I think it fizzled so quickly was because it was so damn gross nobody wanted to talk about it.

quincer-b wrote:

Big companies don't f#$k around. Our security team watches cafeteria videos to make sure people are telling the truth to the cashier about what they got (they don't make us open the boxes) and also don't walk out without paying. Had a teammate fired for not paying for snacks.

OKNerve8 wrote:

How was he filming? Through the big gaps US stalls have?

I_Thot_so wrote:

Sounded like it was from the floor, with his pants around his ankles. Like an “upskirt” angle.

Sources: Reddit
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