Employers' Right to Monitor Employee Email

1726 Words7 Pages
Imagine a marketing manager receives an email joke with a racial slur then continues to forward it to a group of co-workers. A few months later, the company is being investigated and tried in a court case of racism. This situation escalated extremely fast and is a paradigm of why employers must monitor their employee’s technological activities in the workplace (Gaudin). In today’s world, technology is extremely advanced and continues to progress with new innovations. As new technology is created, personal privacy diminishes. The newest technologies make informational property easily accessible; therefore, privacy violations have recently become more prevalent. Property such as computer emails, documents, etc. are specifically put at risk due to the advancement of technology. Although personal emails and other aspects of one’s computer should have set privacy boundaries, computers and email addresses distributed by a corporation should be subject to monitoring. Employees should not expect privacy of any means on their work-mandated computer, especially in regard to emails. Although employees may feel violated by email monitoring, they are simply distracted by a false expectation of privacy. Despite these concerns, employers should have the right to monitor employee email because the motive to protect company liability, reputation and tangible assets is legitimate. In general, employers have the right to read their employee’s emails, unless there is a company policy or contract that assures complete privacy (Crowther 357-63). For example, companies can provide a “confidential” option for emails or allow for a private password (Crowther 358). Many companies, however, choose against these options because monitoring is far more benef... ... middle of paper ... ...er, Brandon T. "(Un)Reasonable Expectation of Digital Privacy." Brigham Young University Law Review 2012.1 (2012): 357-63. Web. Dillon, Thomas W., Arthur J. Hamilton, Daphyne S. Thomas, and Mark L. Usry. "The Importance of Communicating Workplace Privacy Policies." Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 20.2 (n.d.): 119-39. Web. Gaudin, Sharon. "The Perils of Privacy." CNN. Cable Network News, 29 Dec. 1999. Web. 7 Nov. 2013. Hornung, Meir S. "Think Before You Type: A Look at Email Privacy in the Workplace." Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law 11.1 (2005): 115-60. Web. Kierkegaard, Sylvia. "Privacy in Electronic Communication: Watch Your E-mail: Your Boss Is Snooping!" Computer Law & Security Report 21.3 (2005): 226-36. Web. Woodbury, Marsha. "Email, Voicemail and Privacy: What Policy Is Ethical?" Science and Engineering Ethics 6.2 (2000): 235-44. Web.

More about Employers' Right to Monitor Employee Email

Open Document