Employers Who Read Employees’ E-Mail Face Risks
Employees have a right to e-mail privacy, as long as “there is a subjective expectation of privacy and that expectation is objectively reasonable,” or if the employee commits “an unreasonable intrusion upon the seclusion of another,” according to Dr. Steven Abraham, J.D., Ph.D., university professor, and legal advisor. However most e-mail cases brought to court by employees who feel their rights have been violated have been unsuccessful because “the courts found that the employees did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Dr. Abraham discussed the procedure for creating an office e-mail policy and emphasized the importance of such a policy as a means of preventing employers from becoming liable for reading employee e-mail. Companies have a right to require employees to sign such a consent policy as a part of the terms of employment.
Anyone, employer or employee, who has questions about the rules regarding privacy of e-mail, the benefits of creating a formal e-mail policy, and the method for creating a policy that will be effective, will benefit from reading the full transcript of the workshop session.
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.