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E-Mail Privacy at Work

Essay by   •  November 5, 2010  •  Essay  •  453 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,063 Views

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E-mail Privacy at Work

E-mail at our company is for work purposes only. The computers and software are company property, and therefore are used for everyday office use only. We reserve the right to monitor all e-mail use, even if you are using a private e-mail account. This is to ensure that our employees are acting in a professional manner, and not giving out any company secrets.

Also, employees should never consider anything they write as private, no matter what the circumstance. If you write it on the company's computers, it is considered public, even if you place the e-mail in a private folder. According to, a Texas court ruled that unlike a private employee locker where an employee can expect a certain degree of privacy, they have no expectation of privacy in a "private" folder.

Another example, is if you are on your own time, but still at work, such as a lunch break. Regardless of when you write the e-mail, if you write it at work, it is public.

You may be asking, "What is appropriate e-mail?" Obviously, slandering other members of the company or clients, as well as e-mails that contain secret information is prohibited. A good rule of thumb is this. If you are not, for whatever reason, comfortable with printing the e-mail out on your computer and then leaving it on your desk so anyone can read it, then you probably shouldn't write or send that e-mail.


If an employee, through e-mail, is found to have violated one or more of the company's policies, appropriate action will follow. Depending on the case, the employee may even be terminated.

In fact, a company in Pennsylvania assured its employees that e-mail would not be intercepted and used against them. Despite this claim, the company reviewed e-mails from a supervisor and used it as a basis for termination. According to the Federal court in Pennsylvania, that was perfectly legal ( The court ruled that the company's interest in preventing inappropriate or illegal activities outweighed the employee's right to privacy.

Also, any e-mail can be used against our company in court. A judge can use any private or personal e-mail against us, and it would be legally upheld. You may remember that this happened to Bill Gates and the Microsoft Corporation, when government officials sued them over antitrust issues. Some



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