E-mail monitoring (similar to call monitoring)

Hi all,

Next month, we're going to test having an e-mail coach to work with our team members on their communication with our customers like we do with phone calls.

Someone indicated that we might need to add a tag line onto our e-mails similar to what we have with our phone calls which is: "your e-mail may be monitored for quality control purposes, etc."

Another person we spoke with said it wouldn't be necessary to do this.

Would appreciate your input.


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Our technology policy covers e-mail monitoring, voice mail, internet use, etc. In it we plainly state the technology provided by the company, belongs to the company for business use only. All usage will be monitored. There is no right to privacy in connection with the use of any type of company technology. Our attorneys advised us this is sufficient for Oklahoma; however, you might want to check your state laws to see if you are required to provide notice to all parties of the communication.
  • I don't think it's a question of whether it's "sufficient" to just have the policy... We have the policy, and we periodically remind people, but today I'm suspending the third employee in 6 weeks for an e-mail related violation. I'm thinking of adding the tagline to serve as a constant reminder.
  • We have an electronics usage policy that pops up every time an employee signs onto a computer. The computer cannot be used without consenting to this policy.

    It says, among other things, that we regularly monitor all electronic communication, including e-mail, for the purposes of training, quality assurance and to ensure compliance with company policies.

    It was a really easy solution, not to mention a CYA in case an employee wants to claim ignorance about our policies!
  • Being a financial institution we have all sorts of forms every employee must sign before we allow them to sign onto our systems. We also have something similar to Joannie and NeedCoffee but we do not have a tag line on every email. We went through a period of time a couple years back where 2 or 3 were term'ed and and a couple more written up for mis-use of the system and we have had no serious problems since. It is the responsibility of HR here to select a certain percentage of names (at random) each month to have their personal accounts monitored. Our CIO will pull up their accounts and check for any mis-use of the system. Of course we only have a handfull of ee's that have unliminted access to the net. Each Sr. Mgmt. member must sign off on which web addresses their staff need access to and they must be job related. We have isued a few first warnings but nothing more serious in quite some time.
  • I'm guessing that whoever said it "wouldn't be necessary" to put the disclaimer on the emails was probably thinking of the Federal Wiretapping Act, which applies to phone calls, but typically would not apply to emails unless the emails are intercepted before they are delivered. However, in light of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, which provides limitations on the access and disclosure of stored electronic communications, adding the tag line probably isn't a bad idea.

    It's not a matter of whether the tag line is necessary to authorize the review of employees' messages - that will most likely be covered under an exception to the ECPA, and the usual disclaimers in handbooks and other electronic communications policies. Rather, it's a matter of whether the customers' privacy interests are at risk of being violated if their emails are being read by a third party. While they might expect that if they are writing to an employee of company x, anyone else at company x may end up reading that email, it's unlikely that they'll expect the email to be read by a quality assurance type person who may not be part of company x. I don't see the harm in adding a line to alert people that their emails, like their phone calls, may be monitored in this way.
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