Can I sue my employer for bugging me?

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A. You would be really hard pushed to construct a legal case against your employer, based on what you have told us.

For a start, if you were unable to produce the evidence of bugging to the ceo, you would presumably have the same problem proving it to an employment tribunal.

Furthermore, bugging or monitoring of employees is not necessarily illegal. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 sets out a number of circumstances in which monitoring an employee's communications without consent would not be unlawful. These are mostly to do with making sure that regulatory practices or business procedures are being adhered to and as a crime prevention method - to make sure people aren't downloading illegal pornography at work, for example. There are safeguards for the employee's privacy also, but cases are rarely open and shut and you would need to consult a lawyer for advice on your specific circumstances.

The other issue you would face is that all this happened several months ago and you accepted a transfer to another department. Although this does not stop you from bringing a constructive dismissal case, as tribunals realise that people do make an effort to cope with their situations, it doesn't strengthen your case.

Given all of the above, we would advise you not to think about legal action. Rather focus on your job hunt and try to move to a company that values and respects its employees more.

Next week's question: I want to join the army. I graduated in 2003 with a 2:1 in arts. Since then I have been lucky enough to gain front office experience in fx trading and now work as a corporate bond broker in Frankfurt. But it has been my life long ambition to join the army for a few years and leave before I am 30 to get back into the City. Do you think it would be foolish to give up a good job with the risk that I couldn't get back into financial markets afterwards? Are there still good links from the armed forces into the City? I would consider doing an in service MBA or some sort of financial qualification before leaving. I am all set to go to Sandhurst but it is playing on my mind that I will end up a square one again when I leave.

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Look out for the Experts' answer to this dilemma and readers' comments on Ask the Expert next week.

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