Web of Intrigue - Employers Face Potential Liability for Employees' Internet and E-mail Use

March 18, 2007


Recent case law suggests that employers may be liable for the conduct of their employees when they use the company’s email and Internet connection. For example, you may be liable for an employee disseminating pornographic material by email because it was generated from your location. Before you slide down a slippery legal slope, you might want to consider a few safeguards.

Over the past two decades, employers have witnessed a technological evolution in the workplace environment. Computers replaced typewriters, electronic data storage has replaced filing cabinets, electronic mail and scanning have replaced faxes and the Internet has replaced libraries. Most recently, instant messaging is beginning to replace electronic mail. While employers seem focused on integrating technology with business, they often overlook revising employment polices and procedures to match technology. In addition, employees seem willing to help themselves to your Internet and email while conducting personal business.

When you consider updating your office equipment, software and computers, you should also upgrade your Employee Handbook and other policies and procedures associated with technology. ... read more here

by: Kevin V. Maltby, Esquire

Business to Business
March 5, 2007

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