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Employment Law Firms Yankton 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.

Pollard Jerry L Atty
(605) 665-5222
505 Broadway Ave
Yankton, SD
 
James Timothy L Atty
(605) 665-0594
606 Goeden Dr
Yankton, SD
 
Klimisch William J Atty
(605) 665-9495
311 W 3rd St
Yankton, SD
 
Klimisch Robert W Atty
(605) 665-9495
311 W 3rd St
Yankton, SD
 
Ravnsborg Jason Atty
(605) 665-1001
721 Douglas Ave
Yankton, SD
 
Swier Scott R Atty
(605) 260-1300
909 Broadway Ave
Yankton, SD
 
Jensen Brock Atty
(605) 886-0010
215 W 10th St
Yankton, SD
 
Gruhn Debra Atty
(605) 665-5009
200 W 3rd St
Yankton, SD
 
Harmelink John Atty
(605) 665-1001
721 Douglas Ave
Yankton, SD
 
Swier Scott R Atty
(605) 665-3000
322 Walnut St
Yankton, 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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