The New Jersey Supreme Court recently issued a decision that caught the interest of companies across the country who are considering whether similar rulings may spread to other jurisdictions. In Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., A-16-09, 2010 N.J. LEXIS 241 (Mar. 30, 2010), the court explained that employers may (and may not) take certain actions, and it also discussed conditions on each type of action. Maureen Dwyer of Pepper Hamilton’s Princeton, NJ office summarized the decision and its implications for New Jersey employers in a recent article. As Maureen writes:
The court ruled that employers may implement policies limiting personal communications on company computers, and employers may discipline employees for violating those policies. The court also ruled that employers may review the substance of most private e-mail and computer communications, but only if the employer has implemented and communicated a detailed policy that effectively eliminates any reasonable expectation the employee may have that his or her computer communications are private. [However], the court held that employers are never free to review the substance of certain communications, in particular an employee’s confidential communications with his or her lawyer.
More details and Maureen Dwyer’s article are available at the Pepper Hamilton website via this link.