On June 17, 2010, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in City of Ontario. v. Quon, finding that an employer —the police department of the City of Ontario, California — did not violate a police sergeant’s constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search when it reviewed the sexually explicit, non-work related text messages he sent to co-workers, his wife, and a girlfriend on a department-issued pager. Although the case pertains specifically to government employers, it sends an important message to all employers, including those in the private sector, underscoring the importance of a written policy which puts employees on notice that their use of computers, pagers, and other employer-provided electronics is subject to monitoring, including a review of all messages sent or received by the employee.
The important facts of Quon are summarized as follows...
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