Reviewing Employees' E-mails

June 15, 1999
If you have an e-mail, Internet, or voice-mail policy, you may want to include in it a clause that reminds employees you have the right to review such communication tools. Here is a sample clause you may want to use as a starting point.

Because e-mail, voice mail and Internet access are business tools provided by the Company to employees for business purposes, the Company reserves the right to access and review employees' e-mail and voice-mail messages and Internet activity. In addition, the Company in its discretion may disclose the contents of e-mail and voice-mail messages and Internet activity when it determines that there is a business or other appropriate reason to do so. All e-mail and voice-mail messages and records of Internet activity are also subject to backup or other form of electronic storage or reproduction.

Employees are not permitted to access the e-mail or voice mail or Internet activity of any other employee without the approval of that employee or the approval of a Company supervisor or manager, unless there is a pressing business reason to do so.

SOURCE: Brown & Bain, P.A., Phoenix, AZ, April 13, 1999.