U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Provides Guidance On Monitoring Employee Texts And Emails


In its first foray into the potentially treacherous intersection of workplace monitoring of electronic communications and employee privacy expectations, the United States Supreme Court considered whether the City of Ontario Police Department violated the privacy rights of Sergeant Jeff Quon by reviewing

sexually explicit text messages sent by Quon using a City-issued pager. The Court declined to issue any broad pronouncements concerning the permissible scope of workplace monitoring. The Court's decision, nonetheless, provides useful guidance for employers — whether governmental or private — on steps

they can take to reduce their exposure to privacy-based claims arising from their review of employees' text messages, e-mail, and other electronic communications.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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