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.

John H Pye Jr.
(248) 741-6820
PO Box 7337
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment, Child Abuse, Probate
State Licensing
DC

Virginia Howard
(202) 514-5283
600 E St Nw Rm 8501
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment
Education
Southern Methodist University
State Licensing
Texas

Roger C Wesley
555 12TH ST NW OFFICE BLDG
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Employment, Employee Benefits
Education
William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law.,University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh
State Licensing
DC

Joe R Caldwell Jr
(202) 639-7788
1299 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW OFFICE BLDG
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Business, Litigation, Corporate, Employment, White Collar Crime
Education
Georgetown University Law Center,Harvard University,Syracuse University,Rutgers University School of
State Licensing
DC

Ravinder Singh Sandhu
(202) 828-3547
975 F Street Nw
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment, Health Care, Litigation
State Licensing
DC

Timothy R Clinton
(202) 621-1828
1455 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW STE 400
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Employment, General Practice, Civil Rights, Litigation, Discrimination
Education
University of Virginia School of Law,Harvard University
State Licensing
DC, Virginia

John James Toner
(202) 828-3575
Seyfarth Shaw Llp, 975 F St Nw
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment, Administrative Law, Health Care
State Licensing
Pennsylvania

Eric R Sonnenschein
(202) 662-5476
1201 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW OFFICE BLDG
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Litigation, Employee Benefits, Employment
Education
Yale Law Schoo,University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
State Licensing
DC

David N Bowen
1090 K Street Northwest
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment
Education
College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law,George Washington University National Law
State Licensing
DC

John M Vine
(202) 662-5392
1201 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW OFFICE BLDG
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Employee Benefits, Employment, Government, Environmental, Lawsuits & Disputes
Education
Harvard University Law School,Amherst College
State Licensing
DC

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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