Can My Employer Legally Monitor My Emails and Internet Usage at Work?

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If you are working in an office, you probably expect that your employer is taking the time to monitor some of your activities online. You might also expect that if you are working from home, using equipment given to you by your employer. Are your bosses actually allowed to look through your emails and check out which websites you have browsed though? They actually can do that and they may even have told you that they were going to monitor you in your new hire agreement or employee handbook. However, if you believe that your employer has overstepped and violated your privacy, a Midlothian employment attorney can help.

Can My Bosses Monitor My Company Email?

An employer can usually monitor company email. They set up the email for you and they can say that they are monitoring it for work-related purposes. They might even tell you that work communications can be intercepted and seen by your superiors.

In cases like these, most companies are in the clear. Many businesses will even get ahead of any accusations by telling you about their policy before you are hired. There are few situations where a boss would get in trouble for looking at what you sent someone else when everyone involved is using their company email.

Who Can Monitor My Internet Activity at Work?

Your internet activity can also be monitored while you are working. Employers will justify this by saying that they obviously would not want to pay people to sit around on the internet all day, accomplishing nothing. For the most part, they are allowed to do this. If a company monitors internet activity, they should tell you though.

When Could an Employer’s Monitoring Be Considered Overreach?

Sometimes a boss or another superior can go too far when they try to monitor a worker’s communications or online activities. One big potential problem for an employer is if they try to interfere with union-related activities. Employees have a right to collectively bargain and explore the idea of forming a union. Monitoring emails for conversations about unionizing and following that up with retaliation against employees can be an example of an employer taking their monitoring activities too far.

Are My Personal Emails Monitored at Work?

So a company can look into company emails, but what about personal ones? Technically, if you know that you are being monitored and use a personal email anyway, you are opening yourself up to having some of your personal communications seen by your employer. However, if an employer tries to access your personal account just because it was once used on your computer, this could be an overreach, depending on the circumstances.

Talk to Our Employment Lawyer

So if you think that your employer has gone beyond what is reasonable when it comes to monitoring its employees, you may want to contact Passero Employment Law. Our experienced attorney can evaluate your situation and help you find the next steps. If an employer violates your privacy, they should be held accountable.

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