Employment Law Firms Washington DC

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.

Kris D Meade
(202) 624-2854
1001 Pennsylvania Ave Nw
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment, Class Action, Government Contracts
State Licensing
DC

Nancy Jane Craig
(202) 624-2500
1001 Pennsylvania Ave Nw
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment, International Law
Education
George Washington University National Law Center,Swarthmore Coll
State Licensing
California

Michael Weitzner
(202) 220-9600
555 11TH ST NW STE 750
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Commercial, Employment, Litigation
Education
George Washington University National Law Center,University of Florida
State Licensing
DC

Lawrence Z Lorber
(202) 416-6891
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue Nw, Suite 400 South
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment, Appeals, Discrimination
State Licensing
DC

David R Warner
(703) 760-1652
575 7TH ST NW
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Employment, Antitrust, Ethics
Education
Georgetown University Law Center,Georgetown University
State Licensing
DC

Gail L Westover
(202) 383-0353
1275 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW OFFICE BLDG
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Litigation, Energy, Environmental, Construction, Employment
Education
Georgetown University Law Center,Cornell University
State Licensing
DC

Harry T Jones Jr
1001 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW OFFICE BLDG
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Litigation, Employment
Education
Harvard University Law School,Harvard University
State Licensing
DC

Melody C Barnes
555 12TH ST NW OFFICE BLDG
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Employment, Employee Benefits
Education
Princeton University
State Licensing
DC

Caroline M Brown
(202) 662-5219
1201 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW OFFICE BLDG
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Litigation, Government Contracts, Government, Employee Benefits, Employment
Education
Harvard University Law School,Harvard University
State Licensing
DC

Trina L. Fairley
(202) 624-2830
1001 Pennsylvania Ave Nw, #10n
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment
Education
George Washington University
State Licensing
DC, Texas

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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