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

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

A new collective agreement between Israel's largest workers

union and one of its largest employer organizations, signed on June

25, 2008, addresses the question of access by an employer to an

employee's email account at work. The agreement aims to balance

between the employer's right to property and the employee's

right to privacy, and provides the following general


The employer may establish rules regarding the use of the

workplace computer, including policies with respect to use of

certain programs or accessing certain websites. Any such rules and

policies 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 reasonable

period of time, also use it for private purposes which are

protected by privacy rules, so long as such activities are not


If the employer in good faith has reason to believe that an

employee is using the workplace computer for illegal activities or

in a way which may harm the employer, the employer may act in order

to assess the employee's activities on the computer, the

internet or email. Any such actions must be reasonable and adhere

to the purpose of preventing illegal activity or the harming of the


Any entry into an employee's personal mailbox or to an


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