By contrast, last March, the NJ Supreme Court held that an employee’s personal emails were private, despite the fact that the employee accessed those emails from a company computer (e.g., logging into a gmail account from work).
Last month, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that email in general is protected by the Fourth Amendment, and that the government could not obtain it from a third-party ISP without a warrant.
Needless to say, the law(s) regarding privacy in everyone’s email is very much in flux right now. To protect yourself as an employer, make sure that you have a clear and unambiguous policy con- cerning employee use of company computers, email servers, and even company time. Sometimes it’s best to consult with a privacy law attorney to write, rewrite, or review your existing policy and the necessary steps of implementation. To protect yourself as an employee, make sure that you know what your employer’s policy is regarding use of company computers, equipment, etc. This is one instance where what you don’t know can come back to bite you later.