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New Jersey - Court: Employee-Attorney E-Mails Are Private

Published on: April 1, 2010 10:40 PM
By: AP
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New Jersey - In a decision that could set new ground rules for Internet privacy in the workplace, New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ruled an employer was wrong in retrieving e-mails between a former employee and her attorney, even though they were sent from a company computer.

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The 7-0 ruling published in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency is believed to be the first of its kind to reach a state Supreme Court, attorneys involved in the case said.

“Courts are looking more closely at privacy claims in the digital worklplace,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based public-interest research group. “Just because a person is using a company computer doesn’t mean they leave all their rights to privacy at the door.”

The case stemmed from a lawsuit Marina Stengart filed in 2008 against Loving Care, a northern New Jersey company that provides home-care nursing and health services, claiming discrimination based on gender, religion and national origin.


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Read Comments (4)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 02, 2010 at 05:06 AM Columbus Says:

Read the original ruling and you'll find that it's not so simple.
This case involved a client-attorney privilege and thus had extra privacy protection.
As far as other emails are concerned, it was dependent on the wording of the firm's statement on computer use.

2

 Apr 02, 2010 at 09:06 AM Anonymous Says:

This won't hold up. It is in direct contrast with prior US supreme court holdings that company emails are company property, no rights of privacy or free speech.

3

 Apr 02, 2010 at 11:48 AM Anonymous Says:

How are employers supposed to make sure employees are working?

4

 Apr 04, 2010 at 05:32 AM lave dafke Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

This won't hold up. It is in direct contrast with prior US supreme court holdings that company emails are company property, no rights of privacy or free speech.

you are wrong she used her email on a corporate pc

5

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