Dec 142009
 December 14, 2009  Posted by  Court, Featured News, Workplace

Reporter David Savage updates us all on an important case that the U.S. Supreme Court has now agreed to hear:

The Supreme Court said today it would rule for the first time on whether employees have a right to privacy when they send text messages on electronic devices supplied by their employers.

The justices agreed to hear an appeal from the police department in Ontario, Calif., that was successfully sued by Sgt. Jeff Quon and three other officers after their text messages — some of which were sexually explicit — were read by the police chief.

Last year, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals broke new ground by ruling that the police officers had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in their text messages. The officers had been led to believe by a supervisor that the devices were also for personal use, the appeals court said.

A Supreme Court ruling on the issue, due by June, could set new rules for the workplace at a time when most employees use computers, cellphones or texting devices as part of their job. The 9th Circuit’s opinion was the first from a federal appeals court to hold that the Constitution protected the privacy rights of workers who were using electronic devices supplied by their employer.

Read more in the L.A. Times.

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