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.

Joshua I Rosenstein
901 NEW YORK AVE NW
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Litigation, Employment, Administrative Law
Education
Yale Law School,Columbia University
State Licensing
DC

Nicole Jo Moss
(202) 220-9600
555 11TH ST NW STE 750
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Class Action, Commercial, Constitutional, Election Campaign, Employment
Education
Harvard University Law School,Hawaii Pacific University
State Licensing
DC

William L Neff
1001 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW OFFICE BLDG
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Employee Benefits, Employment, Tax
Education
Georgetown University Law Center,Harvard University Law School,University of Missouri―Columbia
State Licensing
DC

Frederick G Sandstrom
(202) 662-5499
1201 Pennsylvania Ave Nw
Washington, DC
Specialties
Litigation, Employee Benefits, Employment
Education
University of Michigan Law School,Brown University
State Licensing
DC, Illinois

David C Kaleda
(202) 756-3329
950 F ST NW
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Tax, Employee Benefits, Employment
Education
Duquesne University,College of New Jersey,Villanova University
State Licensing
DC

Robert B Cave
(202) 637-5692
1001 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW OFFICE BLDG
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Litigation, Commercial, Employment, Ethics
Education
University of Virginia School of Law,University of Virginia
State Licensing
DC

Charles F Walters
(202) 828-5371
975 F Street Nw
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment, Appeals, Litigation
State Licensing
DC

Christopher P. Zubowicz
810 7TH ST NW
WASHINGTON, DC
Specialties
Employment, Privacy, Investment Fraud
Education
University of Virginia School of Law,Dickinson College
State Licensing
DC, New Jersey, Pennsylvania

Jill Keblawi
(202) 828-3582
975 F Street Nw
Washiington, DC
Specialties
Employment, Employee Benefits, Discrimination, Wrongful Termination
Education
Catholic University of America, School of Law,University of Virginia
State Licensing
DC

Heather Jean Broadwater
(202) 344-8042
575 7th Street Nw
Washington, DC
Specialties
Employment, Advertising, Contracts
Education
Georgetown University
State Licensing
Georgia

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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