Can private e-mail get you fired?

nelis

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What stupid company uses gmail for their emails. This is so stupid. What kind of it guy is such a moron FFS.
 

LazyLion

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What stupid company uses gmail for their emails. This is so stupid. What kind of it guy is such a moron FFS.
Actually, I know a lot of companies which use Gmail for their e-mail (including ours - although we host our domain with Google).
Gmail has excellent spam filters and collaboration features.

The difference here would be if the IT guys specifically set up that account for business purposes or not.
We did, and the employees know and have agreed to that fact.
The employees also know that all our computers and the associated data and any company correspondence belong to the company.

The key is having a company Internet Policy in place.
 

Looney

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Either way, she will get fired in any case. Maybe not now, but in some point in the future her Boss will catch her out and get rid of her.
 

LazyLion

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Gmail is an excellent solution for SMME companies who can't spend a lot on massive IT budgets.
It takes away the headache of setting up servers and handling security and backups.

And Gmail is the best of the web based e-mail providers. But some stupid companies still block the Gmail domain though. :(
Such SMME companies should just buy their own domain and then use that domain name instead of the Gmail domain.
But otherwise everything is run through Gmail.
 

FlashSA

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We are an SMME with our own domain and domain email. We have all of our domain email forwarding to gmail accounts and a reply feature in gmail to reply as the domain.

By using gmail we have continuous backups of all email, smartphone capability (blackberry) and massive storage. We would need to invest in MSexchange in order to get the same in house list of services.

GMAIL rocks.

I think the CCMA ruling was fair. If the user was pulling her mail from GMAIL via POP to her computer I think the ruling may have been different. She was only using the companies connectivity to create the offending emails and without a company internet policy there was nothing cast in stone to say she could not use her personal gmail.
 

krycor

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Yip.. private email is hers unless internet policy specifies some big brother stuff.
 

LazerFazer

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Feb 9, 2007
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Even if the company had an internet policy that Ms. Smith agreed to, it wouldn't change the outcome.

Smith forgot to sign out of her personal Gmail account and the CEO ended up looking at it instead.
(Emphasis added by me)
 

saksakgp

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It seems like you people don't know much about Google Apps. If small business knew about Google Apps, then they would stop using xyz@gmail.com email addresses. All they need is a domain name(R100 per year) and they end up looking professional. Small price to look serious.
 

LazyLion

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It seems like you people don't know much about Google Apps. If small business knew about Google Apps, then they would stop using xyz@gmail.com email addresses. All they need is a domain name(R100 per year) and they end up looking professional. Small price to look serious.
Um, yeah... If you actually read the thread you will notice that several of us mentioned it.
 

Quentinb

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Nov 9, 2006
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Sigh....

Gmail is fantastic if you don't want to pay, and yes, has ALOT of storage. There are cheap, reliable options out there. Exchange does not even feature cause you need to be Bill to afford it.

We host our own mail server. Cheap, easy to manage, reliable, backups and restore is a breeze (Epic fail for Exchange on restore!) spam rules pretty good (Gmail rules here!), web access, iDevice friendly plugs straight into Outlook (all recent versions) etc. etc. etc... as close to exchange as I could get!

Initial cost : R1,800-00 Incl – once off
Annual cost : R50-00 Incl / user.
Domain name Cost : R57-00 Incl / year (If you pay more, you are getting ripped off! - learn to do EFT's)
Current mail store : 100Gig
Sleepless nights : none
Total Cost : priceless!

Oh yes, Windows or Linux... and no, it is not postfix!
 
Last edited:

ghoti

Karmic Sangoma
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Jan 17, 2005
Messages
45,850
What stupid company uses gmail for their emails. This is so stupid. What kind of it guy is such a moron FFS.
Wow.... you dont use the Internet much do you?

Actually, I know a lot of companies which use Gmail for their e-mail (including ours - although we host our domain with Google).
Gmail has excellent spam filters and collaboration features.

The difference here would be if the IT guys specifically set up that account for business purposes or not.
We did, and the employees know and have agreed to that fact.
The employees also know that all our computers and the associated data and any company correspondence belong to the company.

The key is having a company Internet Policy in place.
Gmail is an excellent solution for SMME companies who can't spend a lot on massive IT budgets.
It takes away the headache of setting up servers and handling security and backups.

And Gmail is the best of the web based e-mail providers. But some stupid companies still block the Gmail domain though. :(
Such SMME companies should just buy their own domain and then use that domain name instead of the Gmail domain.
But otherwise everything is run through Gmail.
We are an SMME with our own domain and domain email. We have all of our domain email forwarding to gmail accounts and a reply feature in gmail to reply as the domain.

By using gmail we have continuous backups of all email, smartphone capability (blackberry) and massive storage. We would need to invest in MSexchange in order to get the same in house list of services.

GMAIL rocks.

I think the CCMA ruling was fair. If the user was pulling her mail from GMAIL via POP to her computer I think the ruling may have been different. She was only using the companies connectivity to create the offending emails and without a company internet policy there was nothing cast in stone to say she could not use her personal gmail.
There we go, the opinion of people who know what they are talking about. Google Apps is good for ANY sized business. Small to extra huge. They offer above enterprise level services at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems.
 

FlashSA

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@Quentinb - Sounds like mailerdeamon

If so, great product indeed. Worked with it in a 2000 user environment and it impressed greatly.
 

MiY4Gi

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Dec 4, 2010
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1,105
I'd never do something so risky and so stupid as complain about my boss and my job while I'm at work. What if the boss just happened to walk in while you're typing such emails? It's her own fault for getting caught.
 

Mars

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Feb 4, 2006
Messages
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What stupid company uses gmail for their emails. This is so stupid. What kind of it guy is such a moron FFS.
Yea we host our domain with google also...

Back on topic:

What about if it says in the employee's contract that the computer is for work purposes only and that all activity is monitored and recorded?
Could I then use the recorded information to prosecute and dismiss the employee rather than going into their personal mail?
 

Dnigma

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Sep 29, 2010
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187
The fact that she was using company resources to moan about the company and her boss is already an issue for me. You get paid a salary to do a job, not bitch & moan. Do that on your own time.
 

warchylde

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Mar 29, 2010
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Uhm I am speaking under correction (vaguely recalling this being discussed at a conference). Even if you have policies in place it is illegal to intercept communications without a court order. If this had gone to court the fines would have been significant. A customer needed court approval to access an employee mailbox on infrastructure they owned because the employee wouldn't give consent (this was to get reference mail for legal proceedings on some contract litigation). You aren't even allowed to monitor what sites employees go to. The most you can monitor is the actual usage.

Sent from my Desire HD using MyBroadband Android App
 

Paul Hjul

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Aug 31, 2006
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14,902
I honestly think the article horribly misses the boat and holding in mind IANAL and it the article contains comment from an attorney take this with as much salt as is necessary:

In the matter under discussion the complainant was dismissed by an NGO on the basis of what she had said about the organization in private correspondence which the NGO had unlawfully gained access to. But for the improper access to the private correspondence no basis exists for the working relationship to sour. Damages were awarded because of an infringement of the persons dignity. Had the emails been lawfully accessed by the NGO as the owner of the emails the story would be different, but that really has limited consequences on whether a person can be fired for what they write in private correspondence.


Now if I am employed by Bobs Widget Makers Inc and I send out an email or post something to a selected gmail circle (or whatever it is called) or post to Facebook but limit who can see the correspondence wherein I bitch about BWMI and the company is told by whoever I thought wouldn't relay what I had written BWMI depending on our working relation is likely to consider firing my ass as an irretrievable breakdown of trust is likely to emerge. Similarly if somebody is employed by a law firm makes unjustified offensive remarks about a sitting judge the firm might fire them even if the firm agrees with the remarks because it brought them into disrepute. People who badmouth their employer in public are frequently manhandled by the company -ask the Yahoo former CEO - and it doesn't matter whether your correspondence is personal or not, if you have violated a companies disclosure policies you could end up on the wrong side of things. This does not however give an organization licence to inspect private communication because it might contain damaging data.

A company and any other organization can - and generally should - make policies regulating what staff may carry on an email or company letterhead. A general requirement that emails should contain a disclaimer that the views expressed are those of the individual and not the organization is generally healthy. Similarly if somebodies defamatory remarks or unauthorized disclosure are a contravention of the employment relationship as soon as proper evidence surfaces no distinction between "private" and "company" email will really surface - it is very important if the issue is the person representing the company.

Ultimately you have a right to privacy from your employer unless your employer has a damn good reason to require certain special discretion (an intelligence service for example) and if they violate your rights to somehow protect their personality rights you are likely to find themselves on the short end of the stick. Which is what happened here. Similarly if you skip work to go skiing and you post it to Facebook you can't really expect sympathy when they take disciplinary action but if somebody in HR accesses your private schedule off you smartphone it is a different story.
 

devilfp

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Aug 18, 2010
Messages
433
Let the CEO fry! Its privacy invasion. And also the users stupid fault for leaving her mail open. But never the less, its free speech, so just because you don't like what someone is saying about you\company doesn't mean you must try and physical hurt them. Typical!
 
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