U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Employer’s Inspection of Employee Text Messages


This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in the closely watched matter of City of Ontario v. Quon.1 This case raised the question of whether a public-sector employer violated an employee’s Fourth Amendment privacy rights when it reviewed personal text messages that he sent and received on his employer-owned pager. As explained below, the Court rejected the employee’s privacy claim, concluding that the employer’s inspection of the text messages was conducted in a lawful manner. This decision provides valuable guidance for employers with respect to monitoring of employees’ electronic communications.

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