Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Reck B

Reading Staffs Work Emails (Sent Items Etc)

Recommended Posts

A couple of weeks ago, my co-director received an email sent from a staff member mocking him - the email was intended to be received by a different staff member who has the same 2 letters at the start of his name, so it looks like outlook autofilled the recipient and he didn't check it before firing it off. :lol:

I found it quite amusing as my co-director can be a bit of a hitler and i can always empathise with staff where he can't.

Anyway, having spent most of the morning trawling through everyones outlook folders (he's on a bit of a paranoid mission this morning) he's uncovered all sorts of crap in the office...., apparently responsible staff ganging up on others, name calling - slag, slut etc, of one of the girls here.

It's been rather enlightening to say the least and a bit worrying that, what we see on the surface, a pretty coherent team, has these underlying and pretty mean factions, some of whom are supposed to be supervisors,

Not sure how to play this really, I think a meeting re-iterating what's written in the staff handbook about emails should do (without highlighting the cuplrits). I guess i can keep the offending emails as ammunition should we need to dispose of someone..

Anyone know the law about accessing staffs work emails?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone with half a brain would realise that an email is as private as a postcard and act accordingly.

That may be, but anyone with a quarter of a brain would know that actively snooping through others emails is wrong

That's why he felt the natural instinct to ask for advice

You should not act on this, it's morally wrong

Nothing wrong with a generic "rights and wrongs" meeting though, those involved will take the hint

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The majority of these emails will be blowing off steam and not really meant, in fact it is very healthy. I would have gone mad if I couldn't share what a douche the MD was with my colleague (we used unsaved IM messaging).

If there is a way to get the team to exercise more caution without making them paranoid it would be cool. Personally I would never send a work email slagging someone off, you are asking for trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would imagine that any email sent throught the company email system belongs to the company and thus you have right to have sight of them???

If it was from someones hotmail account then I think in that case you do not have right to snoop them if indeed you can?

Dont they have work to do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would imagine that any email sent throught the company email system belongs to the company and thus you have right to have sight of them???

If the company chose to be authoritarian ars*holes, yes

On the other hand, perhaps they should take into consideration that someone perhaps not up to setting up a webmail account may be emailing her doctor or sister in Australia about personal issues, and shouldn't perhaps be subject to snooping by people incapable of actually managing staff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of weeks ago, my co-director received an email sent from a staff member mocking him - the email was intended to be received by a different staff member who has the same 2 letters at the start of his name, so it looks like outlook autofilled the recipient and he didn't check it before firing it off. :lol:

I found it quite amusing as my co-director can be a bit of a hitler and i can always empathise with staff where he can't.

Anyway, having spent most of the morning trawling through everyones outlook folders (he's on a bit of a paranoid mission this morning) he's uncovered all sorts of crap in the office...., apparently responsible staff ganging up on others, name calling - slag, slut etc, of one of the girls here.

It's been rather enlightening to say the least and a bit worrying that, what we see on the surface, a pretty coherent team, has these underlying and pretty mean factions, some of whom are supposed to be supervisors,

Not sure how to play this really, I think a meeting re-iterating what's written in the staff handbook about emails should do (without highlighting the cuplrits). I guess i can keep the offending emails as ammunition should we need to dispose of someone..

Anyone know the law about accessing staffs work emails?

Take legal advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends what it says in the handbook, something along the lines of "email is provided for work purposes only and may be monitored" then IMO morally you can do what you want.

I try and make sure I never put anything incriminating in an email, far too easy for you or a third part to send it unwittingly to the wrong person as part of a forward.

Had a good one the other day from somebody at another company, sent them an email asking for them to do something and got one back which obviously wasn't intended for me, nothing too bad in it but some people could have taken what was said badly. Got an email about 4 seconds later **** licking and trying to dig themselves out of the whole, didn't bother me so wrote one back saying it wasn't a problem and the content was clearly not for me so no harm done.

Personally I don't take too kindly to the round them up and slag them all off routine, I'm pretty professional when in the office and nothing gets my back up than being told XYZ has to change when it's nothing to do with me. I'd say man up and deal with the individuals face to face or let it slide but send round a general email on responsibilities with regard to email and web usage, of course if your handbook doesn't deal with the issue then add something and forward that round instead. Kills two birds with one stone, gives you license in the future to have a look and sends the message to those abusing the privilege to be careful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the company chose to be authoritarian ars*holes, yes

On the other hand, perhaps they should take into consideration that someone perhaps not up to setting up a webmail account may be emailing her doctor or sister in Australia about personal issues, and shouldn't perhaps be subject to snooping by people incapable of actually managing staff

Calm down dear it was my opinion, and oh by the way I am at work :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any employer who fails to include internet and email usage terms in their contract of employment is a fool.

Additionally, providing terminals with portable media drives, no block on employees (Other than administrators) adding software; and worse extracting data (Such as company client lists) is an even bigger fool.

The time wasted by employees when "Working" is now awesome: social networking sites, private emails, surfing; booking holidays, whatever.

Software which analyses who has sent what to whom is old hat: as is software which monitors and analyses web usage.

Since we have had an ICT section, which started way back in 1980, we have assisted clients to trap a number of naughty employees.

Perhaps the worst was an Australian security guard working nights at a marina: he used to spend much of his night in the boss's office, phoning his bird back in Oz! The telephone bill suddenly went from a modest sum in the hundreds: to the thousands per quarter!

Again. software which analyses which extension called where has been around for many years: as have sort routines which "trap" alien numbers.

Abuse of internet and email if handled properly by an employer is a case for instant dismissal, potentially.

As is theft or attempted theft of privileged data.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what the situation is where you haven't set out in the operational policy that mails etc. may be monitored - I thought that companies do set that out these days.

Sounds like your co-director got a true 360 degree assessment - probably a very good thing because if he is creating a bullying atmosphere (a fish rots from the head down) it doesn't bode well for the company, employees are far more likely to want to ****** you over, such as leave to a competitor taking info etc..

As for the bullying of one of your staff members, that's nasty and I would be trying to follow up on that from a pure human point of view, although, from the Machievellian side, if you can show a bit of care to this person and help sort them out, they could become a very loyal employee - there are courses around for dealing with being bullied at work, maybe put her on one of them?.

I'd take advice from an employment lawyer on what you can access but I think when you own the equipment you can monitor people but they must be made aware that this monitoring is happening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, having spent most of the morning trawling through everyones outlook folders (he's on a bit of a paranoid mission this morning) he's uncovered all sorts of crap in the office...., apparently responsible staff ganging up on others, name calling - slag, slut etc, of one of the girls here.

As for the bullying of one of your staff members, that's nasty and I would be trying to follow up on that from a pure human point of view, although, from the Machievellian side, if you can show a bit of care to this person and help sort them out, they could become a very loyal employee - there are courses around for dealing with being bullied at work, maybe put her on one of them?.

Well I would be wary about this one. Quite often when a group of people are calling someone a slag or whatever - there is something behind it. Maybe not of course and perhaps this bird is just getting it tight from no reason. However more than likely she has been banging another colleagues man or something. There are 2 sides of every story - and with this sort of stuff I would just let them get on with it.

Depends if there are threatening emails directly to the person in question - or just b1tchy behind the back chat ? If it is the second - then may be better off just leaving them to it.

Anyway - what the ****** did this boss expect to find if snooping around on people's emails ?!

99% work chat and 1% about the weather for the weekend. Naive or what. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are breaking the law, I was under the impression you had to notify the employee you where looking through their emails and the reason why.

You may have just breached the data protection act.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are breaking the law, I was under the impression you had to notify the employee you where looking through their emails and the reason why.

You may have just breached the data protection act.

:lol::lol: I better get on with some work :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work in this area as part of my work as a Technial Architect - it is a legal minefield.

It all depends upon what is in the employee's job contract regarding their use of IT within the organisation and who owns what, who can access what, etc, re the email, messaging, internet logs and often also 'home drives'.

It also depends upon what is worded in the logon screen when a user logs onto a PC.

It also depends upon UK Law and EU Law. Even US law if the company is based in the UK but HQed in the US.

Suffice to say I know of numerous cases of junior and senior staff who have claimed harassment or unfair dismissal because none of the above was either in place or adhered it. Some have been about to be fired and the next thing they are being paid a lump sum to keep quiet and leave.

Often the IT staff can be placed in the middle between managers who want to use such information to fire people but, if none of the above has been put in place, then the IT staff can actually be breaking the data protection act in handing over information to th managers.

9 times out of 10 the information is of a sexual nature. I am no longer surprised by some of the sexual documentation that staff, junior to senior, keep on their work PCs and home drives. As a matter of course I do not look at images that people store because I don't want such images in my head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work in this area as part of my work as a Technial Architect - it is a legal minefield.

It all depends upon what is in the employee's job contract regarding their use of IT within the organisation and who owns what, who can access what, etc, re the email, messaging, internet logs and often also 'home drives'.

It also depends upon what is worded in the logon screen when a user logs onto a PC.

It also depends upon UK Law and EU Law. Even US law if the company is based in the UK but HQed in the US.

Suffice to say I know of numerous cases of junior and senior staff who have claimed harassment or unfair dismissal because none of the above was either in place or adhered it. Some have been about to be fired and the next thing they are being paid a lump sum to keep quiet and leave.

Often the IT staff can be placed in the middle between managers who want to use such information to fire people but, if none of the above has been put in place, then the IT staff can actually be breaking the data protection act in handing over information to th managers.

9 times out of 10 the information is of a sexual nature. I am no longer surprised by some of the sexual documentation that staff, junior to senior, keep on their work PCs and home drives. As a matter of course I do not look at images that people store because I don't want such images in my head.

Long gone are the days when teh boss says get some effing work done, but I cant I have ny facebook to do first, and no you cant have a peek, so F-CK OFF :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, having spent most of the morning trawling through everyones outlook folders (he's on a bit of a paranoid mission this morning) he's uncovered all sorts of crap in the office...., apparently responsible staff ganging up on others, name calling - slag, slut etc, of one of the girls here.

It's been rather enlightening to say the least and a bit worrying that, what we see on the surface, a pretty coherent team, has these underlying and pretty mean factions, some of whom are supposed to be supervisors,

Sounds like you are in a legal minefield as individuals and an organisation.

I can think of a few laws and legal rights that have been violated there if the emails of staff have been read but there is no paper-trail to a document where they are warned this might happen.

You could be opening yourself up to all sorts of legal claims regarding harassment and privacy.

The bullying you mention is harassment and legally it is now evidence no matter how tempting it might be to delete such information.

The name calling is many things - harassment in the workplace, sexual harassment and libel. If you call someone a dick to their face then you and them just have a disagreement. If you put it down in an email and send it to anyone then you have libelled them.

The temptation might be to destroy all such emails but it is now legally evidence if any staff member later makes an allegation of harassment, sexual or otherwise, or bullying or whatever. It will look really bad on anyone if, at a later date, it is discovered that such emails did exist but that someone in the organisation decided to delete them.

I think you have a problem. Several.

I am no legal expert. Consult a lawyer :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long gone are the days when teh boss says get some effing work done, but I cant I have ny facebook to do first, and no you cant have a peek, so F-CK OFF :D

I was reading over the last few months moves to try and make the use of social network sites like facebook allowable as a right in some US states/companies.

Other organisations are cracking down on staff using it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading over the last few months moves to try and make the use of social network sites like facebook allowable as a right in some US states/companies.

Other organisations are cracking down on staff using it.

Its all madness where will it end, right back to my facebook and hotmail :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading over the last few months moves to try and make the use of social network sites like facebook allowable as a right in some US states/companies.

Other organisations are cracking down on staff using it.

Surely, the clue is in the word..........

One goes to work to, well work. If one wants to join a social club instead, then leave, go on the dole, have the house repossessed and play on Facebook et al all day long.

Well, until the non-payment of ISP account means the plug is pulled.

Problem with staff is too often, they mistake kindness for weakness.

Plus all the insanity of Human Rights and the results of an excess of liberalism has meant employers have had to become hard-nosed and lose their old paternalistic attitude.

It is perverse: the very legislation intended to make employee's rights and working conditions better have actually too often had the reverse effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's totally wrong to read staff's emails - people should be granted some privacy regardless of whether they are in work or not.

However, I'm not denying that if I was a company director I wouldn't read emails.

The thing is though, if you let the staff know that you have read the emails, I reckon it will do a lot of damage. People will not work any harder; if anything they will work less as they will be so pissed of over how their privacy has been invaded. Other people will hear that your company reads staff emails, and this could put people off applying. Think very carefully about what you do next.

As for the bitching behind people's backs - it happens everywhere, in every part of life. Work is no different,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone know the law about accessing staffs work emails?

You could be in big trouble if any of the staff want to make an issue of it.

You want to access staff emails, you'd better have a good reason and a lawyer watching your processes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd agree with TMT and porca. Even if you have procedures in place about when you can use e-mail and for what purpose you'd only be allowed to read e-mails of all staff if you had reasonable grounds to suspect mis-use, i.e. your monitoring software had picked up e-mails with particular titles, frequency of replies, etc. As it is this guy has started reading them because he's in a huff about being insulted. Your staff could have a field day if you try and discipline them now, their privacy has been breached.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of weeks ago, my co-director received an email sent from a staff member mocking him - the email was intended to be received by a different staff member who has the same 2 letters at the start of his name, so it looks like outlook autofilled the recipient and he didn't check it before firing it off. :lol:

I found it quite amusing as my co-director can be a bit of a hitler and i can always empathise with staff where he can't.

Anyway, having spent most of the morning trawling through everyones outlook folders (he's on a bit of a paranoid mission this morning) he's uncovered all sorts of crap in the office...., apparently responsible staff ganging up on others, name calling - slag, slut etc, of one of the girls here.

It's been rather enlightening to say the least and a bit worrying that, what we see on the surface, a pretty coherent team, has these underlying and pretty mean factions, some of whom are supposed to be supervisors,

Not sure how to play this really, I think a meeting re-iterating what's written in the staff handbook about emails should do (without highlighting the cuplrits). I guess i can keep the offending emails as ammunition should we need to dispose of someone..

Anyone know the law about accessing staffs work emails?

Maybe its because I'm a software developer, but I'm stunned that anyone could be so stupid to slag a fellow colleague off in writing!

I mean, these workers of yours, are they braindead or something? I always assume that anything and everything I write in my work email, or put on my network drive (or my local C drive for that matter) or even send using bbm on my work blackberry can and will be read by someone senior to me. I'm pretty sure all my colleagues are the same.

Sure we might bitch and moan about someone, but we'd never be so fckin retarded to put that in writing only for the HR director to be asking us into his office a few weeks later once its been forwarded a few times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.