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Employment Law Firms Beckley WV

I think my boss is reading my personal e-mails at work. The issue is that I have been going back and forth with this guy I am dating and things have gotten pretty hot, electronically. Is my employer legally allowed to look through these letters? While one might argue that an employee can reasonably expect some level of privacy in their personal e-mails generated on the work computer, employees have virtually no such rights, even if you are accessing your e-mail on your own accounts but using the employers' computer server.

Drew M. Capuder
(304) 333-5261
1543 Fairmont Avenue, Suite 207
Fairmont, WV
Specialties
Employer Law
Education
Law School : University of Houston Law Center


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Christopher Kenneth Robertson
(304) 260-4959
Po Box 1068
Martinsburg, WV
Specialties
Employment, Employee Benefits, Commercial
State Licensing
Maryland

Teena Yvonne Miller
(304) 233-4000
1144 Market Street,Ste 400, P.O. Box 871
Wheeling, WV
Specialties
Employment, Litigation, Commercial
Education
University of North Carolina
State Licensing
Ohio

Janicker, Arnold J - Jenkins Fenstermaker Pllc
(304) 523-2100
401 Eleventh Street, Suite 1100
Huntington, WV

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Flanigan, Ryan J - Bailey & Wyant Pllc
(304) 345-4222
500 Virginia Street, E., Suite 600
Charleston, WV

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Constance H Weber
(304) 345-8900
707 Virginia Street, East, 1500 Chase Tower
Charleston, WV
Specialties
Employment
Education
West Virginia University College of Law
State Licensing
West Virginia

Drew M. Capuder
(304) 333-5261
1543 Fairmont Ave., Ste. 207
Fairmont, WV
Specialties
Business, Employment, Mediation, Media, Health Care, Wrongful Termination
Education
University of Houston Law Center,University of Louisiana, Lafayette
State Licensing
Texas, West Virginia

Manjong, Beri Belle - Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC
(304) 340-3800
300 Kanawha Blvd E
Charleston, WV

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Wellman, Steven K - Jenkins Fenstermaker Pllc
(304) 523-2100
401 Eleventh Street, Suite 1100
Huntington, WV

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Florio , Jill Oliverio - Steptoe & Johns
(304) 624-8000
Corner Main and Third Streets
Clarksburg, WV

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Email Issues in the Office

Q: I think my boss is reading my personal e-mails at work. The issue is that I have been going back and forth with this guy I am dating and things have gotten pretty hot, electronically. Is my employer legally allowed to look through these letters?

 

While one might argue that an employee can reasonably expect some level of privacy in their personal e-mails generated on the work computer, employees have virtually no such rights, even if you are accessing your e-mail on your own accounts but using the employers' computer server. If you want to send personal e-mails, jokes and links to content, your employer generally has the right to access any of those materials unless their e-mail/internet usage policy has specifically set forth a reasonable expectation of privacy in those communications, or the employer acts in a manner indicating to the employees that they would enjoy such privacy. To be safe, you must assume that any e-mail you send is or can be reviewed by your employer.

Most employers usually do not review employee's e-mails unless there is some indication of abuse such as complaints about improper communications and/or a tracking system that indicates excessive internet usage. But the law is certainly more favorable to the employer than the employee in this arena. The best way to ascertain your right to e-mail privacy is by closely reading your employer's personnel manual regarding e-mail usage and policies, which courts require need be clearly and well communicated. Of course, disputes over whether such policies are clearly communicated generally arise after the "milk has been spilled," and it is not worth risking your privacy and possibly your employment because of improper use of your e-mail system.

A good rule of thumb is to save the personal communication for your own personal communication devices and accounts, as employers rightfully can expect that their employees are working on employer related matters while using employer owned equipment.

DISCLAIMER: This publication is distributed with the understanding that it does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney/client relationship by way of any information contained herein. The information provided is for general purposes only, as readers are advised to consult with a qualified lawyer regarding the specifics of their particular circumstances.


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