Email Practice/Policy for Terminated Employees

We have a standard policy to leave the company email account of a former employee active to accept incoming email for a specific period of time after separation.  We have yet to find a specific law that addresses accepting email under a former employee's account (the account is made up of the former employee's name as well as the company's name).  I'm looking to find policies/practices of other companies or if you are aware of any laws that address this topic.


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  • We disable email accounts immediately for terminated employees.  It might be debatable if you're violating any privacy practices, despite the fact that it's company email.  Do you have a privacy policy that states the employee should expect no privacy in regards to company equipment, email, etc?  If you do, you're probably covered because there shouldn't be anything personal going there then.  If you don't, could you bounce the emails back and use a return mail code that suggests the sender forward to a generic email address?

  • Do you mind telling us what type of business you are in?  Is this policy in place for all employees in all departments or only for designated employees?
  • I agree with Kockler that as long as you have a policy that state the email system is the property of your company and there is no expectation to the privacy then I think you are fine.   I can understand why you would do this so that if a customer, vendor, supplier, etc. uses this email you can adddress the email and make sure the person has the new contact information for your company.

    Here is an excerpt of my policy entitled "Ownership and use of Email System"

    X company provides employees with a computerized Electronic mail (e-mail) system to accomplish their work-related objectives.  It is the intent of the the company that this e-mail system be used by employees for business purposes only, and therefore, the company reserves the right to access and review all information in the system. The e-mail system should not be used for any personal or private communications that are not intendd to become company property. 


  • We are a small accounting firm and have a rather generic privacy policy.  It applies to all employees:


    Employees are expected to make use of Company facilities only for the business purposes of the Company.  Accordingly, materials that appear on computer, E-mail, voicemail, facsimiles and the like are presumed to be for business purposes, the work product belongs either to the Company or to the Client and all materials are subject to review by the Owner at any time without prior notice to the employee.  Employees are not to have any expectation of privacy with respect to any material on Company property.

  • These are all great thoughts.  Thank you!
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