Reading An Employee’s Personal Correspondence Is Legal

Laitman_161Question: The European Court of Human Rights ruled that an employer may read the personal correspondence of employees if the correspondence is carried out during working hours.

The decision was made while investigating the case of the Romanian engineer Bogdan Barbulescu when it became clear that, during working hours, he was carrying out correspondence of a personal nature on the work computer.

Answer: What this is like is if I were to be working on a particular machine and while at work I made items from the employer’s material on the side and then sold them. It is the same thing here. I must use my work computer only to perform tasks the employer gives, not for my personal purposes.

However, there are cases in which this is necessary, for example in the context of problems in the family or if one of my relatives is seriously ill and things such as that, then it is another matter. Yet, if this is repeated regularly and has no relation to urgent matters, why should I be dealing with such things at work?

This is called theft. I am stealing the time and resources of my employer by sending personal correspondence. This should not be. The Romanian engineer was fired by the rules. An employer has the right to read and know everything that is in his custody. The computers are his property and so is the work time of the employees.

The eight hours that a person spends in the workplace belong to the employer, except for agreed upon breaks that he can go out to drink coffee or even write that personal correspondence. But it is only during this time and only if the employer allows it. Then it is not considered theft but is included in an agreement with the employer.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 1/14/16

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