Public Employer Violates Privacy Rights By Monitoring Text Messages On Company Pager/ Williams Kastner Labor & Employment Advisor

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In Quon v. Arch Wireless Operating Company, the Court determined that the city of Ontario, California,

violated the constitutional rights of a police sergeant by reviewing text messages sent and

received by him on a police department-issued pager and that the Arch Wireless Operating

Company violated the federal Stored Communications Act by providing the city with transcripts

of the employee’s text messages. The case is an excellent illustration of how a broad employer

policy proscribing personal use of company-issued communication devices can be completely

undercut if not uniformly applied. This article discusses such.

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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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