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Warn employees: Text messages may be evidence

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Text messages make communication easy and convenient, but casual comments dashed off electronically may come back to haunt you.

That’s why you should remind employees that texts should be composed with the same careful deliberation as letters and memos.

Recent case: When Ellen sued the Royal Norwegian Embassy over alleged sex discrimination in employment, she asked for a long list of documents. Among these were text messages allegedly sent between supervisors and others discussing her wage complaints and how her salary was set.

The court said these texts were relevant and had to be turned over to Ellen’s attorneys, even though they were casual text exchanges. (Ewald v. Royal Norwegian Embassy, No. 11-CV-2116, DC MN, 2013)

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