Menards is staring down a proposed class action case in which a consumer claims the Wisconsin home improvement retailer secretly and illegally records the oral communications of customers and employees via electronic listening devices stored at the merchandise return counter at its locations.
Citing the Wisconsin Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the 25-page lawsuit alleges defendant Menard, Inc. does not explicitly gain consent from those being listened to or recorded by the devices at its return counters. The company also does not post conspicuous notices informing customers and employees that Menards listens to, records and intercepts the oral communications of those within the stores’ physical premises, according to the complaint. Per the case, notice that Menards stores are audio monitored is not placed within an area in which it would be noticed by customers before entering the store.
The lawsuit adds that the plaintiff has not only shopped at the defendant’s stores, but was employed by Menards in North Dakota and Wisconsin. The plaintiff alleges the defendant has the ability to eavesdrop electronically on communications captured at its returns desk from inside each store’s security office, and has the ability to listen to recorded conversations from its corporate office.
As the plaintiff tells it, he reviewed documents associated with a lawsuit from August 2018 filed oversimilar allegationsand came to realize he, too, was unlawfully recorded by the defendant, particularly while he was in the break room at Menards’ Minot store and its Eau Claire distribution center.