While e-mail and the Internet have revolutionized business, employees can use them for some very unproductive purposes. Employers have any number of legitimate reasons to monitor employees’ e-mail and Internet usage. Beyond personal productivity issues, you risk significant loss should an employee download a virus or other damaging software or engage in illegal activity conducted on company computers.
Many employees may think e-mails are confidential, but you should dispel that myth by clearly communicating your organization’s policy on e-mail/Internet use. Your policy should:
- State the purpose of electronic mail. Explain clearly whether it is solely for business-related communication or if personal use is authorized.
- Forbid the use of any derogatory language in e-mail transmissions, even if it’s meant as a joke.
- Prohibit the use of e-mail for non-job-related solicitations or proselytizing.
- Make it clear that employees ca...(register to read more)
- OK to treat similar rule violations differently--as long as you document your rationale
- Defend against hidden bias: Follow policies
- Log problems, improvement efforts before terminating
- Carefully document every rule violation to defend against surprise claims
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