“If I could sum up why I’m committed to the HR Girlfriends community it would come down to because we are ‘….in this together.'”

~Sana’ Rasul, Chief Girlfriend

Q& A: Are we allowed to look through an employee’s email while they are still employed?

Question:

Are we allowed to look through an employee’s email while they are still employed?

Answer from Emily, PHR:

The short answer is yes, you can monitor employee email. As a general rule, employees should not have an expectation of privacy when using company computers or email accounts. That said, the law is not perfectly cut and dry, so you should have both a legitimate business reason for doing so and a policy that puts employees on notice that you do – or could – review their email.

If you decide to monitor employee email, I recommend that you review your handbook policies, especially any that address company equipment or email usage. You should include a policy that says something along the lines of, “All Company-supplied technology, including computer systems and Company-related work records, belong to the Company and not the employee. The Company routinely monitors usage patterns for its email and internet communications. Although encouraged to explore the resources available on the Internet, employees should use discretion in the sites that are accessed.”

If you monitor company email, you should also be consistent in how you do so. For example, if you’re routinely reviewing emails to ensure that employees aren’t conducting personal business on company time, I would recommend that you do so for all employees or everyone in a specific department.

Picture of Emily, PHR

Emily, PHR

Emily joins the team with over six years of experience in HR, primarily in the healthcare and hospitality industries. She also spent a year running a non-profit. She graduated college with degrees in Music and Entrepreneurial Business, and her passion for helping and working alongside people led her to the field of HR. In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling and home brewing with her husband.

Leave a comment

Never miss an opportunity to earn HRCI/SHRM credits, identify a mentor, or connect 1:1 with another HR Girlfriend in your city or across the country.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Author picture

HR Girlfriends™ is a Human Resources networking organization dedicated to advancing the practice and culture of people empowerment. Our team of Girlfriends consult, train, educate, develop, share, promote, and advocate for solutions in the field of human resource management.

Are You IN?
Or Are You OUT?

It’s time you join forces with a community of like-minded peers ready to tackle the issues unique to the women of HR.
  • All
  • Affirmations
  • Career Monday
  • COVID-19
  • CyberSAFE
  • Guest Blogger
  • HR Advisor Newsletter
  • HR Certifications
  • HR Compliance
  • HR Law Alert
  • HR Q&A
  • HR Reading
  • HR Reel Talk
  • Join Our Team - Apply Now
  • Membership
  • Talent Management
All
  • All
  • Affirmations
  • Career Monday
  • COVID-19
  • CyberSAFE
  • Guest Blogger
  • HR Advisor Newsletter
  • HR Certifications
  • HR Compliance
  • HR Law Alert
  • HR Q&A
  • HR Reading
  • HR Reel Talk
  • Join Our Team - Apply Now
  • Membership
  • Talent Management
Career Monday

Career Monday: 7 Ways to Boost Focus and Productivity While Working From Home

Many businesses have allowed or forced employees to work from home. While this is a welcome development for many people, it’s not always easy to ...
Read More →
HR Compliance

Q&A: What Do We Do When a Prank Crosses the Line?

It sounds like this prank could have crossed the line into harassment, even though the person who was offended wasn’t necessarily the intended target. As ...
Read More →
Affirmations

AFFIRMATION: I Know How To Unleash The Power Behind My Dreams

Dreams have power. My dreams are important to me. They show me what I have and what I desire for my future. To make my ...
Read More →
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap