Whether you are working in an office or using company equipment when you work from home, you may be wondering just how much leeway your bosses have when it comes to watching what you do. Are they legally allowed to monitor the emails you send? What about your internet activity? Can they see every website that you go to? For the most part, that answer is yes. Employers can monitor you, especially if they have made you aware of such policies beforehand. If you believe that your bosses have overstepped here, then you may want to speak to an Atlanta employment rights attorney.
When Can My Employer Monitor My Work Emails?
For the most part, your employer can monitor your work emails and read through them. These accounts are rarely considered private. They could have valid business-related reasons to go through your email since your company email should be primarily concerned with your job.
Employers usually tell employees that they can monitor these messages. This is something that can be outlined in a company handbook and new hires should be made aware of such a policy. An employer may still have the right to comb through work emails without telling their employees, but most will opt to let their workers know about their policy in an attempt to avoid legal headaches.
Can My Boss Monitor How I Use the Internet?
If you are using company equipment, it is entirely possible that your employer is monitoring your internet usage. As with your company emails, your employer could tell you about their policy of looking at which pages you choose to browse during the workday. Even if they make no mention of such a policy in the employee handbook, your employer is still allowed to look into your internet usage in most situations. This is especially true if you are using company equipment and/or working on company property.
Can My Employer Read Personal Emails?
This is where things can get dicey. If you are reading your personal emails on company equipment and you have previously consented to a policy of being monitored, your employer could be in the clear. However, if you did not consent to such a policy and there was no indication that your personal information could be accessed like that, your privacy may have been violated.
When Should I Talk to an Employment Lawyer?
So you know that your employer has some right to monitor your online activity, but what if you feel like they have gone beyond a reasonable amount of surveillance? If you think that your employer is somehow violating the privacy rights of you and your coworkers, that is a serious matter. You should contact Ben Barrett Law and learn more about your potential options. If you have a case, our experienced employment attorneys are ready to help you.