Can employer monitor employee email? Employers have the right to read employees’ work emails and electronic messages, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. In practice, however, employers need to ensure that their internal policies allow then to do so and that employees are made aware of the fact that work computers, email accounts and messenger services are used for work purposes alone. I even don’t recommend that employees check their personal Gmail account using the work computer because there might be circumstances where the employer will be justified in monitoring those too.
As good practice employers who wish to monitor employee email should require employees not to use their own personal email or skype accounts to communicate on behalf of the business and make clear that the employer reserves the right to monitor employee email.
In 2014, Microsoft was accused of spying on one of their employees’ personal Hotmail account and reading messages, which included alleged disclosure by the employee of confidential Microsoft work related information to a third party. The employee was interrogated for 3 hours and eventually dismissed from his job on the basis of the information which was discovered in his personal emails account.
Employers can spy into employees’ personal computers, including reading emails in order to protect their intellectual property, to preserve the good reputation of the business and to enhance the safety and security of other employees.
Employees who for example, defame or harass other people or businesses through their work computer can end up bringing trouble to their employer who might be found to be vicariously (indirectly) liable to the action of the employees.
Employers therefore can, under many different circumstances, claim that they are in fact duty bound to spy on employees’ computers and communications to protect the company, its employees or even the safety and security of third parties.
What is the position, however, regarding employers spying on employees who use their own mobile telephone but via the employer’s Wi-Fi system remains to be seen. Sooner or later a case addressing precisely this point is likely to arise.
Can employer monitor employee email. Internet and social media lawyer Yair Cohen radio interview, complaining the rights of employers to monitor employees’ email at work.