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Employer Beware: Not All Information on the Workplace Computer Is Employer Property

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., 201 N.J. 300 (2010). (0 other reports)

Author: Melanie J. Perez-Vellios, VP Group LLC

In Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., +201 N.J. 300 (2010), the New Jersey Supreme Court examined whether an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy when exchanging emails with her attorney through the employee's personal email account on her employer's computer. In doing so, the court focused on two main issues:

  • whether company policy provided sufficient notice to the employee regarding the company's monitoring of computer usage; and
  • the significant public policy concerns relating to the attorney-client privilege.

The court held that the employee had a reasonable expectation that the emails she exchanged with her attorney, using her personal, password protected, web-based email account on her employer's computer would remain confidential and would be covered by the attorney-client privilege.