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Employment Law Firms Butte MT

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.

Mary Vanbuskirk
Po Box 7152
Havre, MT
Specialties
State, Local And Municipal Law, Business, Employment, Litigation
State Licensing
Montana, Washington

Jean Faure
(406) 452-6500
615 Second Ave N, Suite 201
Great Falls, MT
Specialties
Employer Law
Education
Undergraduate : Carroll College (B.A.) and Creighton University (M.A.)
Law School : University of Montana
Admitted To Bar : 1987
Professional Memberships
Council of School Attorneys, Montana Defense Trial Attorneys, Defense Research Institute

Data Provided by:
Laurence R. Martin
(406) 248-7646
Hart-Albin Building, Suite 313, 208 North Broadway, P.O. Box 2558
Billings, MT
 
Crist Krogh & Nord
(406) 255-0400
2708 1st Avenue N, Suite 300
Billings, MT

Data Provided by:
Tully , Pookie - Hammer, Hewitt, Jacobs
(406) 755-2225
100 Financial Center, Suite 100
Kalispell, MT

Data Provided by:
James Patrick Brown
(406) 586-1995
701 GOLD AVE
BOZEMAN, MT
Specialties
Contracts, Employment, Construction
Education
University of Washington School of Law
Brigham Young University
State Licensing
Montana, Washington

James Patrick Brown
(406) 586-1995
701 GOLD AVE
BOZEMAN, MT
Specialties
Contracts, Employment, Construction
Education
University of Washington School of Law,Brigham Young University
State Licensing
Montana, Washington

Kenneth S. Frazier
(406) 248-7646
Hart-Albin Building, Suite 313, 208 North Broadway, P.O. Box 2558
Billings, MT
 
Charles , David L. - Crowley, Haughey, H
(406) 252-3441
490 North 31st Street
Billings, MT

Data Provided by:
Smith, Martin S - Felt Martin Frazier Jacobs
(406) 248-7646
208 North Broadway
Billings, MT

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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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