Employment Law Firms Sioux Falls SD

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.

Evans Edwin E Atty
(605) 336-2880
206 W 14th St
Sioux Falls, SD
 
Starnes Gregory S Atty
(605) 336-3890
300 S Phillips Ave
Sioux Falls, SD
 
Greenfield Gregg S Atty
(605) 336-2424
101 N Phillips Ave
Sioux Falls, SD
 
Hieb Dixie K Atty
(605) 336-2880
206 W 14th St
Sioux Falls, SD
 
Springer Heather R Atty
(605) 336-2424
101 N Phillips Ave
Sioux Falls, SD
 
Knudson David L Atty
(605) 336-2880
206 W 14th St
Sioux Falls, SD
 
Sudbeck Roger A Atty
(605) 336-2424
101 N Phillips Ave Ste 600
Sioux Falls, SD
 
Henderson Michael A Atty
(605) 336-0828
200 E 10th St
Sioux Falls, SD
 
Lanham Kimberly J Atty
(605) 338-4304
431 N Phillips Ave
Sioux Falls, SD
 
Tanck Catherine A Atty
(605) 336-2880
206 W 14th St
Sioux Falls, SD
 

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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