California Court Exempts Employers From Email Liability
from the breathing-room dept
For reasons related to regulatory compliance and legal liability, many companies have rather strict policies on how employees can use their company email addresses. Often, the policies seem overly strict, but with the constant chatter over things like getting sued for sexual harassment for failing to block porn spam, we can understand their desire to err on the side of caution. Some California companies may see some relief as a judge has ruled that employers are not liable for the email activity of their employees. It cited the same law the exempts ISPs and sites like Craigslist from the activities of their users. Still, it seems the ruling is likely to open up a fresh can of worms. In this case, things were fairly cut and dry, as the court ruled that Agilent didn’t bear any responsibility for harassing emails that its employees sent to an opposing party in a lawsuit. But there are other situations where things could get trickier, particularly if the email seems to have been sent in some official company capacity. So for now, even with the ruling, it’s not too likely that companies will loosen the reigns much in terms of email policy.