Is it illegal to read others’ work e-mail?

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Q. I have reason to believe that someone in my department is reading my e-mail without my consent. Isn’t that illegal?

A. It depends. Generally, employer-provided e-mail accounts are the property of employers, not the employees. You should consult your company’s policy regarding e-mail use and access. Usually, such policies state that the employer may view an employee’s e-mail.

Whether an employee may do so is a different issue, depending in part on whether the employee is a co-worker, a member of management or an employee in the IT department. In some instances, unauthorized access of a co-worker’s e-mail may constitute a crime.

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