Sacramento Privacy Issues Lawyer
Your Privacy Rights Are at Risk at Work in California
In America, we value our privacy. Even those of us who frequently post
tweets and status updates to our social media accounts, can become indignant
and offended when someone whom we did not intend to receive or read our
message intercepts or becomes aware of our communications. Our expectation
of privacy often carries over into the workplace. While we may instinctively
know that our privacy expectations are less at work than at home, it can
become difficult to know when our privacy rights have been violated at work.
Contact the Law Offices of Gay Carroll-Haring today if you feel your privacy has been unlawfully invaded at work.
Your Rights to Privacy in California: E-Mails and Social Media Accounts
Your privacy rights when it comes to e-mail messages and social media accounts
depend on whether the device used to access these services is owned by
your employer or by you.
- If the device is yours, you will likely be found to have a reasonable expectation
of privacy when it comes to:
- Multimedia contained in that device
Absent exceptional circumstances, your employer may not access that device.
Nor can your employer lawfully demand that you provide him or her with
access to that device under California law.
But if your device is owned by your employer, you may not have a legitimate
expectation of privacy for non-work communication. Employers generally
have the right to review, monitor, and search through employee e-mails
for valid business reasons. Even in California, however, your employer
cannot require you to provide him or her with passwords to your e-mail
account or any social media account you may have.
Your Rights to Privacy in California: Phone Calls and Messages
Regardless of whether you use a company phone or a personal cell phone
to make a call at work, you have a legitimate expectation that your communication
will be private. Your employer may not monitor calls of a personal nature
without your consent. (Note that calls of a
business nature – i.e., calls you receive and reply to as part of your job
as a customer service agent – may be monitored and reviewed by your
This expectation of privacy extends to your voice mails as well. Voice
mails received by your work phone cannot be intercepted and diverted to
your employer without your knowledge and consent. Be warned, however,
that your employer may be able to lawfully access your messages if they
are stored on a company phone system and your employer has lawful access
to this central system.
Your Rights to Privacy in California: Drug Tests
In certain cases, employers can request that their employees submit to
tests to determine whether you have any illegal substances in your system.
Not all employees are able to be randomly tested for drugs; typically
only those employees who would be at risk of suffering a great deal of
harm if they were under the influence of drugs (like a heavy machine operator)
or those workers who have had issues with drug use in the past can be
When you believe your employer has violated your privacy rights, contact
the Law Offices of Gay Carroll-Haring by calling 916-443-3553. I will
evaluate your circumstances and advise you of what legal remedies you
may be entitled to under the law.