Free Essay

Email Etique

In: Business and Management

Submitted By vlaxman2010
Words 1150
Pages 5
YES: Who's reading your office e-mail? Is that legal?
YESTERDAY, as you sat working at your desk, you checked your e-mail and spotted a note from a friend. The message was an off-color joke complete with graphic illustration. Sure, some stick-in-the-mud might find it offensive, but it was awfully funny. So, without thinking, you clicked on the forward button, typed in an e-mail address or two or three, and hit the send button. No big deal, right?
You don't give the e-mail another thought until this morning when a somber supervisor invites you to her office. She hands you a letter of reprimand along with a copy of the e-mail. She tells you that as a matter of office policy, employee e-mails are monitored. Copies are placed in your file, and, in the event it happens again, she warns that you'll receive a termination letter. It simply never occurred to you that someone might be monitoring your e-mail. What about your right to privacy?
As an employee, the idea of being monitored may trouble you. As an employer, the idea of monitoring employees may be equally distasteful. The right to privacy is so thoroughly ingrained in most of us that we take it for granted--especially in a peaceful environment when we're sitting alone, typing into a computer. We may be lulled into a false sense of isolation and freedom from observation. But even if the technology is available, aren't there simply too many e-mails and too much Internet use to review effectively? After all, the Internet is so big and so anonymous. No one can really track everybody's e-mail or Internet surfing. Besides, it's probably an invasion of privacy and illegal.

Wrong on both counts. To quote Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, on the issue of Internet privacy: "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it." McNealy's rather abrupt observation and admonition are particularly true in the work environment.

The simple fact is that monitoring employee e-mail and Internet usage is legal under almost all circumstances. As a general rule, when an employee enters the workplace, an employer may monitor and record communications, including e-mail and Internet use, without any notice to the employee. In Fraser v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., 352 F. 3d 107 (3rd Cir. 2003), the court specifically held that The Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C.[sections]2701, didn't apply to an employer's search of e-mail stored on its own system.

But in some instances, simple facts tend to beget complicated, counterintuitive consequences. For example, an employer repeatedly assured its employees that e-mail communications would remain confidential. As it turned out, the assurance wasn't a guarantee that the employees' e-mails wouldn't be used as a basis for discharge. In Smyth v. The Pillsbury Company, 914 F. Supp. 97 (ED Pa. 1996), a supervisor e-mailed inappropriate comments to an employee at home, and the employee responded in kind. The e-mails were communicated over the company system. Regardless of the company's assurances, the employee was terminated for communicating "inappropriate and unprofessional comments" via the company system. The Court held that "once plaintiff communicated the alleged unprofessional comments to a second person over the e-mail system that was apparently utilized by the entire company, any reasonable expectation of privacy was lost."

Employee e-mail habits have developed over time, but, as the Pillsbury decision exemplifies, employers' practices also can change--sometimes quickly and unpredictably. The Pillsbury case wouldn't be the last surprise for employees. Employers can review e-mail at any time and with lightning speed. Dow Chemical took a "snapshot" of a day's worth of employee e-mails and then systematically sorted through them. Some 254 employees had saved, filed, or sent sexually related, violent, and other inappropriate e-mails. The actual participation and involvement of the employees varied considerably. Dow created a set of criteria so that discipline taken, if any, could be based on each employee's participation. The criteria included offensiveness; what the employee did with the material, such as circulating the materials within Dow; and the frequency of the conduct. Dow discharged 20 employees and disciplined others. The court, although recognizing that Dow was probably employing a union-busting tactic, upheld the company's review and use of its employees' e-mail (Dow Chemical v. Local No. 564, Operating Engineers, 246 F. Supp. 2d 602 (SD Texas, 2002).


Despite the near cultural aversion to intruding on communications, growing numbers of companies and managers record, review, and monitor telephone and computer activities of their employees. According to the American Management Association (AMA) 2005 Electronic Monitoring & Surveillance Survey, 76% of employers monitor website connections, "26% have fired workers for misusing the Internet," and "another 25% have terminated employees for e-mail misuse." Inexpensive software packages facilitate these decisions, and the overriding reason is compelling--it has become a business necessity.
An inescapable consequence of employee e-mail and Internet use is that the employer is responsible for illegal, discriminatory, or offensive communications that are transmitted over the system or viewed by others from a company computer screen. Sexually explicit, graphically violent, or racially inappropriate websites open to view by co-workers may be used to support claims of discriminatory behavior or a hostile work environment. E-mails containing such inappropriate materials that are circulated around the office or forwarded to others have the same effect.

But so there's no misunderstanding, employers and managers can get into just as much trouble with their email as employees. E-mails sent by managers can be used by employees to prove claims of corporate misconduct. For example, the characterization of an employee as "ready for the bone yard" may be evidence of age discrimination. The simple truth is that e-mails containing potentially libelous or defamatory content should not be sent or forwarded--even internally. Not only can they easily get away from managers with a click of a button, but they also may become-in a stored capacity on the server or archive--the target of discovery in litigation.

Because e-mails can seem so informal, managers and employees are more likely to say things in them they would never put in a letter. Unlike letters, e-mails can be forwarded over and over to thousands of people with the touch of a button. Impulsive and thoughtless comments can travel the world over. Often overlooked is the liability with regard to foreign laws. Because e-mails can be transmitted anywhere and may then be forwarded practically ad infinitum, an employer may be responsible for content based on the laws of the country in which the e-mail ultimately arrives. Electronic communications originating in the company office may have far-ranging legal consequences.…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Email Personality

...KLA Article: Is Email Hiding Your Personality Page 1 of 2 Is Email Hiding Your Personality By Kendra Lee, President, KLA Group Let's Get Connected Email is so much easier to use for prospecting than the phone. You can write it at any time day or night. You don't have to worry about being hung up on and you won't catch your client "at a bad time." But it's also easily deleted with no response. When you put yourself into your email, your chances of getting prospects to respond escalate. You stand apart from the other sellers who blend together as Inbox clutter. Sound hard? It doesn't have to be. You know that it's your personality and message that distinguish you on the phone. But, when you write, you have to be really careful that the words you choose let your personality shine through. If your prospect can't feel your personality, you're no different than any other seller trying to get time on his calendar. Here's the story of two sellers I've been working with and their very different email prospecting results: Eric, who follows the email prospecting rules perfectly, and Mae, who breaks the rules and allows her personality to shine. Eric sells IT maintenance services. He does most of his prospecting via email because he doesn't like to cold call. He has an outstanding value proposition including impressive financial results clients have received in reducing unplanned IT expenditures. Eric adapts his value proposition to the group he's targeting and follows...

Words: 485 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Email History

...Email Timeline (notes) 1965: first concept of email… there was a CTSS (Compatible Time-Sharing System) in the MIT Computation Center. So the MIT had many registered users and most of them used the CTSS service. Then they wanted to share information to each other in new ways. So they had this “common file” place in the disk. What they would do is they would create files that they named like TO TOM or to whoever… and put them in those common file place. Then the person who will receive the message could log into the CTSS and search for that file. 1971: Ray Tomlinson (he invented the email, not because someone asked him to. He just thought that it would be a really cool idea.) sends the first electronic mail. Not through internet, cuz it wasn’t invented it… it was through a network called the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). It said “QWERTYUIOP.” He worked for a company called (forgot… BBM or something…) which was hired by the United States Defense Department to create the internet in 1968. 1976: Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first head of a state to send an email!! She was demonstrating networking technology and she sent the email from the Royal Signs and Radar Establishment (RSRE). 1983: MCI Mail is the first commercial email service (through a server), and it is introduced to the public!! It was a service that allowed people to sent electronic text-based messages to other people with MCI Mail. Later on it allowed people to send messages to users of...

Words: 592 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Email Portfolio a professor discussing effective e-mail practices 2. Make sure the first sentence of each paragraph is an appropriate topic sentence 3. When referring to the attached e-mail examples in your memo, use E-mail # as the notation.  4. In general, you may format the short word for electronic mail either as e-mail or email - just be consistent.   5. Be consistent with the tense you use when discussing your examples, avoiding perfect tense whenever possible.   6. Remember to use direct style (conclusion --> reason/support) throughout the document. 7. Refer to all attachments in your memo appropriately and notate that attachments (or enclosures - either word is ok) are present at the end of the memo. 8. End the memo with the action you want the reader (the instructor) to take, the time frame for response, and a reason for the time frame that engages the reader's sympathies and is external to you (see email/memo lecture for illustrations)   9. Follow all memo format requirements Format Use Memo Format for the report Use E-mail Format for e-mail attachments, making sure any e-mails printed directly from your email system are legible (i.e. the print is at least 12-point). You may cut and paste your e-mail into a Word document to improve legibility if necessary. If you use Word, make sure you include the date/to/from/subject headers as well as the message....

Words: 492 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


...SITUATION WHERE EMAIL SHOULD BE USED IN CORPORATE COMMUNICATION Email is widely used as a form of business communication and overall it is a highly effective communication tool. Email is inexpensive, only requiring an Internet connection that is generally already present in the business. Although a printout of emails is possible, emails often stay as soft copies because archiving and retrieving email communications is easy to do. From the CEO to the janitorial staff and even temporary employees of the business can send and receive email communications. 1. Although it cannot and should not replace all face-to-face communication and others forms of communication, internal email usage can cover many areas within the business. Internal emails can function as an effective communication for sharing basic information, such as new cafeteria prices, paper use guidelines or security precautions, for example. Sending simple messages to an entire workforce with just the click of a mouse is fast, easy, convenient and can save the company money. If saved, the email can function as proof of a message sent or received, and is easily accessible to remind the recipient of pertinent information. Many businesses use email as part of its marketing efforts to share information with prospects, customers, and vendors. 2. Business emails should be concise and to the point. Use plain text and common fonts with a simple signature line. Fancy graphics, fonts, and backgrounds can take up......

Words: 955 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Email Policy

...The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper use of company’s email system and to make all employees aware of what the company deems as acceptable and unacceptable use of its email system. The company reserves the right to amend this policy at its discretion. In case of amendments, users will be informed appropriately. The policies are outlined below. The company considers email as an important means of communication and recognizes the importance of proper email content and speedy replies in conveying a professional image and delivering good customer service. Therefore the company wishes users to adhere to the following guidelines: • Writing emails: o Write well-structured emails and use short, descriptive subjects. o Email style is informal. This means that sentences can be short and to the point. You can start your e-mail with ‘Hi’, or ‘Dear’, and the name of the person. Messages can be ended with ‘Best Regards’. The use of Internet abbreviations and characters such as smileys however, is not encouraged. o Signatures must include your name, job title and company name. A disclaimer will be added underneath your signature. o Use the spell checker before you send out an email. o Do not send unnecessary attachments. Compress attachments larger than 200K before sending them. o Do not write emails in capitals. o Do not use cc: or bcc: fields unless the cc:......

Words: 1021 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Email Marketing

...Email marketing It informs your leads about new products, services, or offers that are relevant to their interests so that they can move into the next steps of the decision-making process. TIPS: * Segment B2B and B2C.. * Engage your prospects and existing customers. * Prospect need to be informed. Existing customers have knowledge = different stages of the buying cycle * Re-engage inactive customers. Look into new layouts, new content, reach them at different times. * Personalize email Different types of email marketing: Customer acquisition and sales generating email marketing.. Customer loyalty and brand email marketing.. Customer retention marketing.. Simple strategies: * Customer loyalty, brand building emails (most loyal customers)– holiday and birthday greetings, thank you emails, company status and advice, tips. * Rentention emails – content is an offer, sale, discount or free gift. Or info on new products * Customer win back – those who are inactive - Offers, sales, free gifts, free shipping. Email newsletters VS direct sales newsletters Newsletters * Product reviews, features and announcements of new products  * Upcoming events calendars * Special offers and discounts * Featured quotes * Featured customers or users * Links to partner websites * Links to useful sections of your......

Words: 4517 - Pages: 19

Free Essay

Unsolicited Emails

...Patrick Schuyler February 22, 2015 Business Ethics Professor Christianson Unsolicited Emails Unsolicited emails do much more harm than good in this world. It is very unethical for online companies to send out any spam or unwanted emails to any person who makes a purchase online. Maybe a receipt email from the company you bought from is ok, but receiving emails without asking from companies with similar products is ridiculous. These unsolicited emails could always have the chance of opening up some type of virus onto the device you open it with. According to chapter four, they are considered to be an invasion of one’s privacy. Also, these unsolicited emails are wrong and unethical because society prospers through the struggle of market-places. An invasion of someone’s privacy is clearly thought of as unethical which is in essence what companies are doing when they send out unsolicited emails. What happens when you open a spam email and it crashes your computer? Would you say that the email has invaded your life in a bad way? The answer is yes. These businesses invade people’s lives by sending emails to people who never want them in the first place. Citizens have the right to their own lives and who enters them. No way should someone else force something into your life without approval. As John Locke states, “Though the earth and all inferior creatures be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person; this nobody has any right to but himself.”......

Words: 559 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Procedural Email

...Procedural Email Message Assignment Nora Field ENG 315 – Professional Communications Professor Mark Crilly April 15, 2015 To: FSSD Project Manager <> From: Nora Field <nora.field@donfssd.coml> Subject: ACTION: New Procedures for Project Tracking FSSD Project Manager, Alternations and construction projects constitute a large percentage of our expenditures in the Facilities and Support Services Division. Currently we do not have procedures in place that will allow for project and financial tracking and accountability. Therefore, I have created a summary project log for which each project and the cost associated will be logged and tracked. You will also be responsible for creating project folders which will contain all supporting documentation pertaining to each project. The new procedures are effective April 20, 2015. Directions to access that share drive, instructions on completing the project log and for creating project files are outline on the attached file. I realize that this may be painful at the beginning but in the long run will benefit FSSD in greater visibility and reporting to leadership of workload and financial portfolios. If I can provide assistance or address any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at 703-555-2570 or email at Very Respectfully, Nora Field Financial Manager Facilities and Support......

Words: 488 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Person Email

...Should Justin Ellsworth’s Parents Have Been Given Access to His Email? Abstract The question is, “Should Justin Ellsworth’s parent been given access to his email?” There are many things to consider when asking this question. Did they have the right to see it? Did he want them to see it? How would anyone ever know what his wishes were if they never talked about this subject? Did the parents only want the email to see what he was up to, or his personal thoughts? Would there be something in the e-mail that would make them think differently of their son? Is it legal for the parents to see this email? Is this a violation of privacy and policy? These are all fair questions in an ethical battle such as this one. What kind of stance would you take? In a perfect world, everyone would be happy with the outcome of any type of conflict morally, or ethically. However, we all have minds, opinions, and that pesky thing called…the law. In the situation of Justin Ellsworth, he didn’t really have a choice at all. He died as an adult, fighting for his country, and his parents wanted access to his personal email. We ask, is this a breech of policy, or is it a right of the parents to see this email because he was their son, and they wanted to know his final thoughts? There are issues here though, that go beyond just what the parents wanted. Issues exist such as whether or not Justin himself would have wanted them to see it, and whether or not the internet provider had......

Words: 856 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Email to Miguel

...Business 100W Assignment One Fifty Points ASSIGNMENT I. Email Revision. Due to SafeAssign by noon on April 16th This first paper will expect the student to revise a poorly written (and, where appropriate, redacted/altered) email, one that was actually recently written within a medium sized company. Students will be expected to apply the skills conveyed through lecture and the assigned texts to revise and rewrite, within a certain set of parameters, the email that is under consideration. Lecture, discussion, UWP writing sessions (mandatory), and the Lanham will be particularly germane to this assignment. This first assignment is the briefest of the lot and requires no oral presentation. Context and Scenario: A friend of yours, Miguel, has heard that you are a strong writer, and he seeks your counsel regarding an email he needs to send. Miguel has learned from co-workers like Milton how important clear communication is. Being the generous person you are and are known to be (you have cultivated something of a reputation for this), you have agreed to help your friend Miguel write that email. Miguel explains that he wants to write his supervisor (Lauren Alvarez), a person whom Miguel is about to meet for the first time. Recently hired by Tech-Shield, Lauren is quite excited about her new position and eagerly awaits meeting her team of analysts. While Miguel has not actually met his supervisor, he has a number of recommendations he thinks his supervisor may be interested in.......

Words: 1317 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...Email to Coworker Lisa Smith HCS/131 02/29/16 Kelly Hernandez Email to Coworker Dear Gracie, I wanted to take some time and send you the information you requested on Communication in the workplace. Workplace communication is the transmitting and receiving of information between one person and another or a group of people. It can include emails, text messages, voice mails, notes etc. Workplace communication is essential to our company’s ability to be productive and run smoothly. Listening skills and speaking skills are necessary to have efficient interactions with coworkers and employers. The following tips will help you communicate more effectively in the work place. Listening Skills Listening skills is a common problem area, with all the distractions around us try and stay focused, having good face to face listening skills is vital. Make sure the person is hearing you by having them repeat facts or write things down. Make sure there is an understanding, have them repeat back to you in their own words what was said so they can grasp the concepts. Speaking skills Speaking skills is another important form of communication. It is very common for people to speak without thinking, also think of your audience speak on their level try to adapt yourself to different types of situations. It is important to know how to listen to others as they speak and it is also important to know how to speak to others as they listen.......

Words: 444 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Chat and Email

... Functions: 1. transfer email messages over the internet from one server to another using SMTP 2. Facilitate the delivery of the message 3. Helps servers to communicate 4. Verifies the configuration of the computer **if email is not successfully delivered, it bounces back or return to sender** Script: Types of Protocols, the 1st type of protocol is the SMTP, SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, it is a protocol that use to move e-mail on and across the network. The functions of SMTP are (1) it transfers email messages over the internet from one server to another using SMTP (2) it facilitate the delivery of the message (3) it helps servers to communicate and lastly it verifies the configuration of the computer. There are some instances that messages can’t be deliver, it could be because of wrong spelling of email address, not the right domain, etc. and when it is not successfully delivered it will just bounce back to the sender. POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3rd Version) -communication between a server and an email clients Functions: 1. Used for downloading messages from an email server to one’s computer (stored on online hard disk to local computer hard disk that enables to view them even w/o internet connection 2. Able to access to old messages Script: The 2nd Protocol is the Post Office Protocol or POP, 3 is the number of version. The POP is used to build communication between a server and an email clients and a server it is......

Words: 456 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Email Etiquette

...Email etiquette is the proper and acceptable behaviour expected from an email sender. It is primarily concerned with matters of courtesy in email communications. When you use the right email etiquette it shows professionalism and efficiency. When you use the wrong email etiquette it gives a bad impression to the recipient and its shows a lack of care and respect. Email etiquette is important because our correspondence says a lot about us and it gives an instant impression to the person receiving the mail. There are certain things that are acceptable when writing to another party and certain things that are simply not. Another reason why it is important is because I want to make sure I come across as respectful, friendly, and approachable. I don't want to sound curt or demanding, back to impressions, I don’t want to give the wrong ones from the wording of our email. In the book Email Etiquette it is stated that there are 8 ways to write great email which are; 1. Clearly identify the subject matter of the email 2. Be as concise as possible 3. Check your spelling and punctuation 4. Use an appropriate style 5. Request the action or information you need. 6. Explain how urgent your message is. 7. Use attachments to provide detail 8. Include further contact details If you follow the 8 above steps you’re on your way to writing an effective email which will be clear, professional and get your desired message across to the recipient. When you use the proper......

Words: 365 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Email Procedure

...Procedural Email Message Assignment Jameica L. Wright ENG 315 – Professional Communications Priscilla Patten- Professor April 11, 2016 To: From: Jameica Wright <> Subject: Updated Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Care Takers, I want to ensure that we stay up to code with the Department of Social Services, that way if they decide the drop in for a visit everything will be done correctly. We have been gradually updating our policies for the parent drop off/pickup. We want to ensure the safety and security of both our parents and our students. There will also be a few minor changes concerning drop off/pickup of our children. * From this day going forward all parents will be required to sign their child(ren) in upon arrival as well as sign them out once they are leaving for the day. We want to ensure that there is proper accountability for the children that we have here in the building. * On Friday evening along with the daily reports, the parents will receive a newsletter letting them know what will be going on the following week. We want our parents to be engaged in what is going on with our children while they are here in our care. * We will begin to have quarterly training to put our any new information that is coming down from the Department of Social Services. These training's will be mandatory and will count towards any yearly training that will have to receive. *......

Words: 375 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Informative Email to share with you all. In order to make the communication more clear, Ms. Maria Taylor asked me to tell you the directions to standardize our department emails. This email is an official announcement for the department’s new policy and it serves as a model for everybody to follow. Here are the new policy requirements that we all have to follow: • All the emails should be sent from UC email accounts. This will solve the problem of emails sent from non UC accounts being sent to junk mail. • All the emails we send from University of Cincinnati email account should have a clear subject line. This line describes the message content and allows the reader to have a clear idea of what the message is about. • The emails should have appropriate beginning and closing statements. For instance, if the writer and the reader are acquainted, first name is the rule. If it is formal, please use titles (e.g., Mr., Mrs., etc.). • A signature is also very important. In messages to other staff members, please include your signature. This gives the reader the information he or she needs to contact you. In order to create a signature on Microsoft 2010 Outlook, when you reply to an email, on the top right side of the ribbon, you should see a button called signature. Just click on it and create your own. That will make your emails look more professional. The signature should include your name, the company or the institution you work for, your title and your phone number. My signature......

Words: 292 - Pages: 2

Classification of Authority | The Terror | La Dernière Licorne