Employee Emails, Yes, You Can Look at Them

Employee Emails, Yes, You Can Look at Them

You can look at employee emails or any email on your own systems or servers. With electronic communications now serving a predominant role in business and social interactions, companies want access to employee emails, texts and social media posts. To prevent employment practices complaints, institute and promulgate a detailed electronics-privacy policy—and stick to it.

Business Devices
Employees should confirm receipt of written privacy policies regarding computers and phones provided by the company. Companies are permitted to control such devices, including reviewing their contents and activities, confiscating them, or locking them down. Even personal accounts and data that are accessed or stored using company devices can be monitored. These company actions may be taken without notice and for any or no reason, as detailed in the privacy policy.

Personal Devices
Companies may also review and control their business networks, software, and databases even when accessed via personal computers or phones. Employees should know that these networks, accounts, and platforms may be monitored 24/7. If they use their personal email or other platforms for business talk, they should expect those to be reviewable by the company.

Cyber Security
Continuous monitoring of company systems is a method of preventing unauthorized access and testing users for adherence to security protocols. It is important that companies be able to spot phishing and other hacking attempts and shut them down promptly. Use of certain websites may also pose a security hazard; therefore, monitoring and intervention is appropriate.

Discoverable Documentation
Electronic communications create a record that can be demanded in a lawsuit. If your organization is confronted with a bad situation—a harassment or discrimination claim, a misrepresentation allegation, a massive negligence or liability lawsuit—your managers, executives and board members might be inclined to email or text each other about the problem. Follow the best in electronics practices to enhance your cyber security and avoid employment practices violations.

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