California Email Surveillance in the Workplace

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In today’s digital world, it is very difficult for companies to operate without the use of emails. Emails allows easy communication, documents negotiations and decision making as well as in transmitting documents instantly. However, the truth is that anything good also has its negative side. Emails can also be used to make inappropriate communication, harass people at workplace as well as trade secret theft. That is the main reason why California workplace law on email surveillance was enacted.

Why are emails being monitored?

Employees have right to monitor employee emails messages provided they have a valid reason to do so. According to most employers, email monitoring is not done with the intention of intimidating employees but with the intention of boosting productivity and transparency. It also enables employers to detect fraudulent activities fast before they escalate to serious level. In addition to that, email monitoring enables companies to carry out successful investigations if reports of workplace harassment are reported. Many companies nowadays require employees to sign a form acknowledging that their emails are not private.

What methods do companies use to monitor emails?

There are several methods that companies use to monitor emails. Most commonly used methods include:

  • Use of computer software

Various companies have installed software on their systems that enables them to track all emails that have been received or sent on employee computer terminal.

  • Copy system

This system enables the company to copy all emails that pass through their systems. Some even create new copies of new email as they arrive.

How can you tell if you are being monitored?

California workplace law on email surveillance allow employers to monitor employee emails even without their knowledge. However most employers usually inform their employees that they are actually being monitored.

What happens if the employee deletes the message?

Most employees usually land in trouble when they later discover that the email that they deleted was retained by the system. This is because email system usually retain messages even after they have been deleted. Although the email may appear deleted, they are usually backed up along with other important data that are critical to the company.

How can you stay out of trouble?

This is a very common question asked by many employees. The answer to this question is that you need to act professional when at workplace. This means that you need to limit or even better, avoid communicating with friends or family members using the company emails system. In addition to that, you need to avoid sending emails that other people might interpret as being rude or unkind even if your intentions were good. Lastly don’t send emails that other people will be uncomfortable reading.