Whether your business is large or small, if you have a company with any number of employees then you should have an email policy that is clearly communicated to everyone in the company. Even if your business does not routinely monitor employee emails, you, as the employer, must protect your right to access employee email.
Your email policy should state that the company has the right to check employee email that is either received or sent using company computers or other communications equipment. For example, if a company is sued by an employee for sexual harassment, sex discrimination or other violation of federal and state anti-discrimination laws, the company’s attorney will want to have access to employee emails to properly investigate the claim.
Without a company email policy, an employee may have the right to refuse to provide access to his or her emails. The employee may even be able to bring a lawsuit for invasion of privacy.
A comprehensive corporate email policy should address employee use of the business’ email system and an employer’s right to monitor email. It should also provide guidance on the proper conduct employees must observe when sending email on corporate computers.
If you’re a small or mid-size business owner, call us today to schedule your comprehensive LIFT (legal, insurance, financial and tax) Foundation Audit. Normally, this session is $1,250, but if you mention this article and we still have room on our calendar this month, we will waive that fee. We also have email policy samples you can use.