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[Image via Pacific Coast News.]
Bathrooms in Duane Reade drugstores are allegedly equipped with cameras intended to secretly record their employees. Apparently, managers of the store threatened that anyone who complained would be fired.
And sixteen employees are fighting back! They are suing Duane Reade in a $110 million Brooklyn Supreme Court lawsuit.
"To be watched in the bathroom - this really goes beyond all decency," said filing lawyer Adam Thompson. "Basically, you had an employer abridging their rights as citizens to file a complaint. Who knows how far this went?"
The surveillance camera was hidden in air vents at the Maspeth, Queens, store by a security officer, the lawsuit alleges.
When employees noticed in January 2008, managers removed it and then called a staff meeting where they were told to "let it go" or face termination.
"We don't believe the suit has merit, and we will defend ourselves in court," the company said.
Plaintiff Aldo Chumpitaz speculated that the cameras were installed to catch workers who steal merchandise.
"I saw the camera and told a supervisor, 'How is it possible?'" said Chumpitaz. "He told me, 'It wasn't working.'"
Thompson insisted the cameras "were absolutely working."