Dec 122009
 December 12, 2009  Posted by  Court, Featured News, Workplace

Workplace privacy issues seem to be back in the legal news this week. David. G. Savage of the Baltimore Sun reports on a case before the U.S. Supreme Court you may want to know about if you send text messages on employer-provided devices:

Workplace rights advocates are closely following a California case now before the Supreme Court in which employees for the first time won a constitutional right to privacy in their text messages, even when the messages were sexually explicit comments to co-workers.

Last year, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals broke new ground by ruling that the 4th Amendment and a federal electronic communications law protect the privacy rights of workers who send text messages on devices provided by their employer. The appeals court ruled in favor of police Sgt. Jeff Quon and three fellow officers in Ontario, California who sued after the police chief read their messages.


The Supreme Court is expected to decide as soon as Monday whether to hear an appeal from the city of Ontario and its wireless service provider. Both were held liable for their part in retrieving and reviewing the messages sent by Quon and his co-workers on text pagers.

Read more in the Baltimore Sun.

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