Jay Becker Authors Q&A On a Public Employers Right to Search an Employee's Text Messages
June 17, 2010
August, 2010 - New Jersey Tech News - On June 17, 2010, in City of Ontario v. Quon, No. 08-1332, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a California city’s search of a employee’s text messages on a City owned pager. was reasonable and done for legitimate reasons, and didn’t violate the employee’s Constitutional rights.
Ontario’s electronic communications policy provided the City the right to monitor usage of electronic devices. The City’s wireless contract had a texting limit per month. An audit revealed that one employee, violated the policy by over using the pager for personal texts.. The employee sued the City claiming the search was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. The Court ruled that the City had a legitimate business reason to conduct the non-invasive audit.
It is critical for employers to have a policy outlining the terms on using company owned devices and reserving the right to monitor for legitimate reasons, effectively reducing an employee’s expectation of privacy. View PDF
As a member of the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC), the Giordano Firm contributes a Legal Q&A column to the TechNews magazine. The Q&A covers topics across various legal areas that may be of interest to this audience. Our goal is to provide sound legal advice and effective strategies to resolve business issues.
|Tags: Jay S. Becker, Labor & Employment