Employer's Right To Access Employee's E-Mail

Profession:Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg & Co.

A new collective agreement between Israel's largest workersunion and one of its largest employer organizations, signed on June25, 2008, addresses the question of access by an employer to anemployee's email account at work. The agreement aims to balancebetween the employer's right to property and the employee'sright to privacy, and provides the following generalprovisions:The employer may establish rules regarding the use of theworkplace computer, including policies with respect to use ofcertain programs or accessing certain websites. Any such rules andpolicies must be brought to the attention of the employees.The employee must use the workplace computer for work purposes,but s(he) may, within a reasonable scope and for a reasonableperiod of time, also use it for private purposes which areprotected by privacy rules, so long as such activities are notillegal.If the employer in good faith has reason to believe that anemployee is using the workplace computer for illegal activities orin a way which may harm the employer, the employer may act...

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