Nov 222009
 November 22, 2009  Workplace

Dionne Searcey has a piece in the Wall Street Journal describing some court cases on whether employers can read employee email. While it is safest to assume that you will have no privacy and that your boss can access anything you do on their computers, the courts have not always ruled that way, especially if the employer has not been clear with the employees about the policies.

That was what happened in a case earlier this year in New Jersey, when an appeals court ruled that an employee of a home health-care company had a reasonable expectation that email sent on a personal account wouldn’t be read.

And last year, a federal appeals court in San Francisco came down on the side of employee privacy, ruling employers that contract with an outside business to transmit text messages can’t read them unless the worker agrees. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Ontario, Calif., police officers who sued after a wireless provider gave their department transcripts of an officer’s text messages in 2002. The case is on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read more in the WSJ.

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