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Employment Law Firms Windham ME

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.

Linda D. McGill
(207) 774-1200
100 Middle Street, West Tower, PO Box 9729
Portland, ME
Specialties
Employment, State, Local And Municipal Law, Federal Regulation
Education
Northeastern University School of Law,Randolph-Macon Woman's College
State Licensing
Maine

Peter L Thompson
(207) 874-0909
92 Exchange Street, 2nd Floor
Portland, ME
Specialties
Personal Injury, Insurance, Litigation, Employment
Education
University of Maine School of Law,Bowdoin College
State Licensing
Maine

Lori L. Dwyer
(207) 228-7145
100 Middle Street
Portland, ME
Specialties
Litigation, Employment
Education
University of Maine School of Law,Duke University,University of Alabama
State Licensing
Maine

Chad T Hansen
(207) 874-0909
92 Exchange Street
Portland, ME
Specialties
Employment
Education
University of Colorado School of Law,Luther College
State Licensing
Maine

Joseph J Hahn
(207) 774-1200
& Nelson, 100 Middle Street Po Box 9729
Portland, ME
Specialties
Employment, Litigation
Education
George Washington University National Law Center,George Washington University National Law Center,Un
State Licensing
DC, Maine

Dana Lynn Gold
(206) 679-9773
44 Leonard St
Portland, ME
Specialties
Personal Injury, Corporate, Employment, Litigation
State Licensing
Washington

Jonathan Shapiro
(207) 774-6001
400 Congress Street, 4th Floor
Portland, ME
Specialties
Employment, Contracts
Education
Duke University School of Law,McGill University
State Licensing
DC, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania

Patricia A. Peard
(207) 774-1200
100 Middle Street, West Tower, PO Box 9729
Portland, ME
Specialties
Litigation, Employment
Education
University of Maine School of Law
State Licensing
Maine

Matthew Tarasevich
(207) 774-1200
PO BOX 9729
PORTLAND, ME
Specialties
State, Local And Municipal Law, Federal Regulation, Employment, Litigation
Education
Northeastern University School of Law,University of Rhode Island
State Licensing
Maine, Massachusetts

Ronald W. Schneider Jr.
(207) 774-1200
100 Middle Street, West Tower, PO Box 9729
Portland, ME
Specialties
Litigation, Health Care, Employment
Education
University of Maine School of Law,Bates College
State Licensing
Maine

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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