The Supreme Court says worker’s texts aren’t private

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Workplaces are not new. They’ve been around forever in some form or another forever. Yet, thanks to evolving technology, employees and bosses continue to find new controversies to settle.

Twitter, e-mails, blogs, etc. They’ve all caused headaches and lawsuits. The latest kerfuffle has gone all the way to the Supreme Court, and it could change the way some workers think about workplace privacy.

In City of Ontario v. Quon, Jeff Quon, a police sergeant in Ontario, Calif., had the text messages on his company-provided cell phone audited by the city and claimed he had a right to privacy. A lower court agreed and said he had the right to file suit, but the Supreme Court ruled otherwise.

According to NPR:

A review of the transcripts revealed messages between Quon and his wife, Jerilyn, from whom he was estranged. He also exchanged intimate texts with his girlfriend, April Florio, another police department employee.

Internal affairs investigators pulled two months of transcripts and concluded that of 456 messages Quon sent or received during work hours in August 2002, no more than 57 were related to his job.

Ontario police officers had been put on notice that their e-mail messages and texts could be subject to oversight by department supervisors.

For an overview of the case, you can head over to ScotusWiki and read the details of the case. In a unanimous decision, the court decided, that Quon had no reasonable expectation of privacy in this particular case and that the city did not violate his constitutional rights. The court also made clear that it did not mean workers have no right to privacy with regard to workplace communications. In other words, this case isn’t quite as far reaching as it could have been. And since I’m no legal scholar, I won’t hypothesize about what it could mean for us beyond what the court ruled.

Still, the case is worth thinking about as an employee. If you have a company-provided pager (or cell phone as it probably is in most professions), should you expect that anything you write during the workday is private? Does that mentality extend to how you correspond via work e-mail? Do you think employers should be able to audit your correspondence if they want or only if it directly relates to an issue where your messages are pivotal to the outcome? Do you agree with the Supreme Court in this case?

Let us know what you think.

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  2. I think,If one has been granted a company-provided pager (or cell phone as it probably is in most professions), you should expect that anything you write during the workday is not private. One’s mentality should extend to how they correspond via work e-mail. After all the pager or cell is provided for business & not pleasure.

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  13. The supreme court is right on this one. A person’s thoughts are private. However, when those thoughts are expressed using a devise that belongs to someone else, those are no longer private. This is smilar to using a company’s computer to send an e-mail.

  14. Who ever pays the bill should have the right to monitor the texts that are sent from emplyers to parents…If you don’t like it, then pay for your own texts not the Tax Payers…

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  16. Company phone, probably a company bill for the texts, then the company gets to see what you do on it. Want it private then get your own phone to do it. When I contract for FEMA we carry two phones, one FEMA one personal and we know very clearly that FEMA/Feds can see who we talked to and they do not allow texts (even on phones capable of them).

  17. Interesting that everyone states if supplied by employer the employers have a right – but what if the employer REQUIRES you to have the phone in order to be employed becuase they expect you to be on call 24/7. I understand the concept of ownership, I just don’t like the fact that more and more people in this country think companies have the right to own people.

      • Rick is right, to an extent.

        If the employer requires you to have a phone as part of the employment arrangement, then they need to provide you with a phone, or at least pay a portion of your phone bill.

        If they provide the phone, then it’s their phone, and they can dictate the usage policy as they see fit. If you have concerns about privacy for private communications, then get your own phone.

        If it’s your personal phone, and you’re paying most or all of the bill, then they can say nothing.

        Bottom line here is this, the employer can dictate what you can and cannot do on their dime. Doesn’t matter if it’s their phone, computer, network, internet connection, on-site, or off-site. If they’re paying you, they have reasonable expectations to dictate what you do.

        Now, if you’re off the clock, away from the office, in your personal vehicle, and using your personal devices, they have no rights or expectations to dictate your actions.

  18. How anyone can even expect their employers not to read personal text messages using company property is beyond me. :P Use your own phone for personal stuff, period.

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter if you need me)

  19. The employer is not only paying for the cell phone, they are also paying for the employee’s time. Employee’s should be careful not to waste work time dealing with personal business. If I get a personal call or text at work, I either ignore it or deal with it quickly and continue working.

  20. if it is provided by the employer, then privacy should not be expected. The employer is paying for the use of that phone. Therefore whether it is used on or off duty, the employer has that right.If you want privacy for your own away from work phone, pay for your own phone. When employers supply phones, then they are doing so for business purposes. using employer paid phones for personal calls, when away from work, is no different than stealing from the office.

  21. Caveat texter. Someone is going to see your texts one day so watch what you say.

    On the other hand, since we spend so much time at work, don’t you think they should expect us to text private stuff to someone at some point? I mean, what are we? Robots? These dumb*ss employers just get on my nerves. They are just plain old stupid people.

  22. This guy went way beyond a few texts, I think it must have been hard for him to fit in job in around the texting.
    Texts to your ex-wife and your girlfriend are pretty personal and should be done on your own time and on your own device.

  23. The boss pays for the bathrooms too, but does that mean he should have the right to watch you while you’re sitting on the crapper? We shouldn’t take the loss of our privacy too casually. The only time a company should ever nose into private texts/emails is in a criminal investigation where the appropriate warrants have been secured.

  24. I don’t believe that they are saying that the compnay owns a person. If a company has provided you with equipment to be used then it should be used for business purposes and not personal. But if you have a personal device used in order to obtain and work for an employer, then they should not have a right to view any data that is sent to and from that device. That does not mean they own you.

    I am pretty sure that if you had a teenager that causes you to have a much higher bill or may have cause suspicion, at some point you may review your bill to see what numbers were contacted or you may even go through their phone.

  25. Hi there,

    I think, during business hours, when an employee uses the work devices to send text should not be private. It is same like work email where you should not send private email. Email may by audit to protect companies’ privacy. Use your own device to send private text and email or etc.

  26. It is not that they own you, but the devise in witch you use to talk or text some one. Even at work it is your time because it is not law that you have too work there. You would not want some one working for you too abuse privileges you set for them, it goes the same way around whether you are a convenience store clerk, police officer or an elected official.

  27. I totally agree with the Supreme Court. Companies invest in cell phones or pagers and loan them to their employees in order to advance its business interests. Being the owners, companies can have these gadgets audited and their contents inspected. Employees who are issued these devices should, therefore, not expect to utilize them for their own personal use.

  28. If a company requires you to be on call 24/7 AND provides you with a device so they can contact you it is still their device. I had a company phone I also had my own phone. Its not the company owning me, its the company having a right to know what their money is paying for. I don’t want my tax dollars paying for a cop to sit around texting his/her friends. They can do what I do and go spend cash on a phone service of their own.

  29. I agree 100%. It is a pain in the butt to HAVE to carry 2 cell phones. I have been there, I know. Now, having said that, 456 messages of which 57 were work related is a little excessive. However, the question should not be the content (unless a crime has been commited and the content is evidence) but simply the frequency. I would think that 2 or 3 texts per day would be ok, not the 8 – 10 that he averaged.

  30. I bet all the people who have responded to this post with the posts supporting the employer always spend their work-time being 100% productive, have never wasted a single dollar of their company’s money and have never driven 1 mile over the speed limit.

    Keep it up!

  31. Employees should expect some LEVEL of privacy, but not ABSOLUTE privacy. That being said, most people are saying “during work hours”…what of those of us who have to carry a work phone 24×7, and send texts after hours? Are those acceptable, and do they fall outside what the employer can look at? In my opinion, employers should not randomly be reading txts/emails, unless it is for criminal investigation, and HR has signed off on it. Too many supervisors ask to read email right around review time to get dirt on their employees to see if they are talking bad about their bosses, and that is where the “reasonable” expectation of privacy should come in to play. Just my 2c which are worth less than that.

  32. The company requires the employee to be available for contact and to that end the employee is provided a phone by the company. What would make said employee decide that what he did on the phone was private?

  33. …what about using the desktop/laptop computer at work to send personal emails, access social networking sites, creating evites, etc? Is it wrong if you get a free sec to do personal activities? Does that mean I can’t use the work phone to make a doctor’s appointment? Do I need to start bringing in my own laptop to work? There needs to be a reasonable allowance as an employee to be entitle to some benefits as long as they’re not abused.

  34. No John, nobody is expecting perfection, or claiming to provide it to their employers. With this case the VAST MAJORITY of the texts were of a personal nature on a company-provided device. If the employer pays for the device, there is an expectation it will be used predominately for company business. My company paid an allowance to offset me using my personal phone for company business. They did not audit my messages. They now provide a company phone and it’s used 100% for company business. With their phone ANYTHING I send/receive is subject to audit. My supervisor has said he’s too busy to go snooping around on email and texts and sales call productivity–unless I give him a reason to. If my productivity is lower than everyone elses, it’s his job to find out why and that may entail checking how I use the company phone and PC. I’m a big boy; I can handle that.

  35. I agree there needs to be a “reasonable” allowance that will vary from company to company. When I was in the military they allowed NO PERSONAL internet access because the computers were rigged for classified info. My current employer allows “reasonable” access to people who have computers issued by the company, and some of the younger people don’t own a personal PC so they use their company laptops for everything. That tells me the company security types are far more generous than I would imagine. Most of those people are smart enough not to surf excessively during standard work hours. I almost never surf because I have my own laptop and a personal BlackBerry.

  36. I fail to see how anyone can expect privacy using any device or computer provided by an employer. that piece of equipment is intended for work related communications. If it is personal communications, you should use personal devices or computers. Seems pretty clear to me anyway.

  37. John Michaels you are correct. Not everyone here spends 100% of their time being productive for never goes over the speed limit but that is not the point at all. It is when people get caught doing those things and try to hide or make excuses. If I am texting on a company phone and get caught then I am responsible. If my boss talks to me about my productivity then I am responsible. If a cop pulls me over for speeding then I get a ticket. Everyone takes advantage of company time in some way and that is the risk they take. This was about whether or not the company had the right to pursue him for misuse of company resources.

  38. I have to disagree because the company allowed the texting to go on. Texting is an option that can easily be disabled by the provider if the employer so chooses to. 456 texts a months amounts to about 15 texts a day and a text of 17 word takes about 10 to 15 seconds to type. Faster even if your good at it. A lot of texts are smaller then that. That amounts to 225 seconds or 3 and 3/4 minutes of work time give or take depending on length of texts and how fast they type. That is worth maybe a slap on the wrist. Not worth making an example of. The employer is wrong in having escalated this issue as far as the supreme court. Although the phone is not for personal use I don’t believe what the man did was a crime. It’s as simple as making the phones texting disabled.

  39. I’m amazed (amused?) that everyone is talking as if any electronic text communication is private. Once you hit send the text or e-mail is out on multiple servers in addition to the recipients device. It is there forever and any one with the tools can read it. Plus, think about how often someone hits reply all or forwards a message without thinking.

    Never put anything in text or email that you wouldn’t mind sharing with the world.

  40. I guess it is assumed it is a requirement or the company would not be providing the device to start with. In this case – just use your won device for personal stuff…

    This could get sticky where a company requires you to use your own personal device but agrees to reimburse you for a portion of your bill — Now what???

  41. Yes you are right, the employer does pay for the bathrooms. However, using the bathroom is a normal natural function for any human being that in a civilized society requires a modicum of privacy. Texting using an employer provided devise is not a natural human function and therefore does not require any level of privacy.

  42. If you want a great example of the fact that texts on an employer supplied phone are not private, check the story of Detroits ex-mayor Kilpatrick, on probation for purjury after a whole lot of text messages showed he lied repeatedly in court. He was just too dumb to use his own phone, which would have saved him about a million dollars. If the employer pays for the phone, they certainly have the right to monitor the use. All of us who make personal calls carry 2 phones. That way we can always get a company call. Likewise company email, except that we were allowed to do personal stuff during lunch and after work. A good compromise.

  43. I can’t believe the #s of posting here saying “just a little is OK”. It is NOT. If the device is what your company paid for and provided it for you for company business, then it is NOT your personal device for your personal matters. Same goes for pc, email, and phone. Therefore, your company can and is legally entitled to screen anything whether business or personal. Of course, there may be an exception in a case of emergency for instance but regardless, if that’s for “just a little usage” in the level of “should not cost a lot” then why wouldn’t you use your own device and pay for it rather than having your company pay for it?
    Use of whatever the device your company provide with you is privilege, not a right. Employees should not abuse the privileges. Also, except during a break hour(lunch break, for example), the business hours you spend in/outside of your office should strictly be kept for business purpose only as you are “paid” for it.

  44. I disagree entirely. There has been a long established ruling that in a place where you have a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’, it is a violation of your rights to be monitored. However, can you really have a reasonable expectation of privacy while you are sending messages using a cell phone, computer, or other electronic device that you do not own or pay for the service for? The fact is that the devices are the PROPERTY of the person or entity who purchased them, and that person or entity has every right to monitor what they are used for. I gave my daughter a cell phone, and I pay the bill for it, and you can be damn sure I monitor what she’s doing on that thing. Kids are kids, and do stupid things, and as a parent it is my responsibility to ensure that she learns to be a useful, intelligent, productive member of society, not some piece of crap that does whatever she wants. As an employer, you have a responsibility to ensure that whatever equipment and services you pay for are being used properly and not abused, which in turn wastes money. For a government employee, that means wasted tax money. For a private business, that means lost revenue. Either way, it’s a bad situation, and everyone who pays the bills has a right to defend against that, and monitor that in any way they decide to, period.

  45. Why to use company provided cell in the first place because when they want to get rid of you they will look all kind of crap and using company cellphone for personal use could be one of them.

  46. And that’s why I work from home, on my own personal PC, using my own personal cell phone.

    I still work for “the man,” but I do it my way.

    Welcome to the 21st century, peeps!

  47. If texting n emails are required on the use your souces the way you should get sales and send out your products but don’t let this new way of life get mess up by the knuckle heads that don’t understand the meaning of work supports with their personal lives. You all that are using company products for person use you are a thief so stop stealing.

  48. The bottom line is you have to be careful with all electronic communications. None of it is actually private. Use personal devices for personal communications and no one at your workplace can hold anything against you. I agree it is a pain to have multiple devices, but it’s a matter of protection.

  49. My company provides a cell…but I also have a PERSONAL cell phone. My company constantly reminds me that all texts and e-mails are subject to review at any time.

  50. I worked for a state government who provided me with a smartphone, computer, etc. We signed a document saying we were aware that our communications could be monitored. However, we were also told a quick phone call to a family member if we had to work late and similar calls were permitted. However, I knew that for reasons not within my control, there was a move to terminate a lot of people including me. Therefore, I carried my smartphone but used my personal phone for nearly ALL my phone calls. In fact, I went so far as to walk outside the building to make any phone call, even work calls made on my personal phone. I was one of many folks doing that. They did eventually terminate all of us but they had to use the “at will” clause since they could come up with no reason.

  51. how could any doofus expect a company to provide & pay for cell/text service not be the property of the company paying for the service ? If its privacy you expect, provide your own damn phone stupid. thats like saying you are not going to let your employer inspect his car the company has provided to you because you have been doing something inappropriate

  52. Im not buying it! If you buy it for me and require me to have it, then it’s mine!If im doing my job as required, you have no right to my privacy!

  53. Of course the employer has the right to audit. I’m as big of an advocate of privacy as the next guy – that’s why I have my *OWN* cell phone. if you want your conversation.. text.. whatever communication to be private then use your own device.

    Anything that happens on a company’s premise is subject to snooping. If you don’t want your employer to find out then don’t do it on their systems (phones.. .email.. instant messaging.. etc..)

    I guess common sense ain’t so common anymore :)

  54. Then they use their own phone to do it!

    Would you download porn on your work computer?
    Why not? Because it’s not appropriate.
    Neither is using your companys phone the way this guy was.

  55. The content of the messages don’t need to be revealed in order to know whether the phone was or wasn’t being used for personal use. With that said, at no time, whether at work or home should our rights be violated. The content of e-mails and texts can remain secret, while still knowing whether they are personal or business. People, stand up for your rights. We are the United States of America, not China or North Korea.

  56. Two key words “company provided”. This is no different than using a company provided beeper, laptop or other computer, camera. The company owns the product and the data within it.

  57. I think if the company provides any type of communication device, they should have the legal right to access and make public at their discretion any or all communications made from that device. It belongs to the company, not the individual and should be treated as such. Any employee that must make private communications should be able to do that with their own private device and not have to worry.

  58. i have wasted plenty of employer time, but i dont advertise this, which is exactly what you do when using there phone, not to mention the cost, depending on there provider contract. Quit being a cheap ass and get your own phone.

  59. I agree that one should expect the employer to have a right to audit messages sent on the company’s equipment. I don’t use my employer-paid phone for personal calls/texts; I use my own phone. The courts have also ruled that you can be taxed on the employer-provided phone because you MIGHT use it for personal reasons and then it would be a benefit. Tax me for a benefit I might get while being on call 24/7 for my employer? BS. I gave up the phone and opted to have my employer call me on my own phone. The employer said that the only way to do that was to subsidize my phone and tax me on that money. So I suppose my employer would then expect to be able to audit the calls I make on my own phone? Oh the joys of sorting out the legal implications of technology!

  60. Workplaces are not new. They’ve been around forever, figuratively speaking.

    Really?! Does this article not feel like it was written by a 6th grader with a lede like that?

  61. So I’m quibbling here, but the story said 456 during working hours. August 2002 had 22 work days (given 5 days per week at 8 hours per day), or 176 working hours. This gives 2.6 messages per hour (well, just a hair under that). A single SMS message may contain 140 characters. Going old school here, typing tests were based on 5 character word averages, with a space between. Thus, a message may contain up to 23 words. On a keyboard, a plunk typist is 20 words a minute. So, you are looking at up to a minute per text, or 2.6 minutes per hour, which is 20.4 minutes per day, or almost seven and a half hours in the course of the month.

  62. Do you remember what it was like before cell phones, texting and emails? I do! You worked your as* off every minute of your shift except for the allowed breaks that were ‘off the clock’. Any employee that is given a company cell phone should be intelligent enough to understand that it is COMPANY PROPERTY for EMPLOYMENT USE. If you can’t understand that ‘no privacy rules apply’ then maybe you should find another job. some Employers are way too generous with benefits and perks that some people come to expect it all. Wake up and appreciate the fact that you have a job with a paycheck to compensate you for the “WORK DAY” you put in.

  63. It gets even more interesting when you work for a cellular phone company!

    I am a former Verizon Wireless employee, we were “informed” (actually threatened) that because we received a % discount on our personal lines that they can still review our texts and/or phone calls at anytime as they wish.

    As an AT&T employee, I was also “informed” that we also could have our text/calls reviewed at anytime they chose on our personal lines. This would be why I have a phone through Sprint, their “threats” aren’t valid as they don’t have easy access.

  64. Well I really think you hit the nail rite on the head ppl should no if you get a pager or cell you should be responsable for evey Tex etc also being a cop or not I think his personal message to his wife should be privet but all tht extra it should be investigated but reallly who cares lol

  65. Reading this article makes me realize that there are so many stupid people in the workplace. I have a personal cellphone, which I bought with my own money. I will use that for my own stuff. And why would you want your company to see it anyway? You get paid to work, not b*tch at your wife or girlfriend all day. The company should just fire people who waste resources and money doing this. Noone in the workplace cares about your personal life. Bottom line, keep work and personal life separate. There is nothing hard about that, but people still are stupid and will continue to do this!!

  66. Where I was working at the company can confiscate your personal phone, to see if you have customer account numbers or any thing that had to do with the company. The rule was no cell phones in the building or automatically be fired and maybe charges filed for what was on the phone.

  67. Can’t imagine why anyone would fail to see that if an employer owns or rents a device, anything on it is the personal property of the employer.

    Would anyone write a confidential note to a friend, put the note in a company filing cabinet, and then claim it was private?

  68. Look, I believe that as long as the employer tells you they are going to monitor texts and emails, you should act accordingly. On the other hand if a cell or any electronic communication device is used at work and you are not told then the employer is in the wrong. All these individuals that say when you are at work or if it’s not yours, have never had to pull 24 hour shifts 9 thousand miles away from family and friends. If you ask me I think the civilian sector should have operating procedures for this kind of thing. In the military you are allowed personal texts and emails during deployments, but not while you’re at your home station. Unless you are training.g for war. Here is a good example of using an employer’s phone on the clock. A friend of mine had a understanding with his mother. If he was to call from the war and say everything’s fine, that meant he was in danger to call his Commander and it just so happened that him and his fellow soldiers got attacked, hit with an RPG. He took cover and called. His mother immediately called the Commander and the lives of his and all but one in the motorcade was saved. Now, if he was unable to make personal calls what would have happened. I guess my point is a true professional is professional all the time and doesn’t have to worry who reads or hears what.

  69. I don’t follow your logic. An employer requires one to carry a pager/cell phone to be “on call” 24/7, which he pays for. He has the right to monitor what transpires on the device. How is this “ownership” of the employee? The employee is still free to carry a personally paid for device to use for private communications. In the cited case, the employee used his work mobile phone for personal texts 87.5% of the time!

  70. @Will Simpson- you mentioned this could get sticky if a company required you to use your own device? First how could they mandate you to have something that you may not normally use – Unless they fully own it? If it is yours and they reimburse a portion YOU still own it. If my company reimburses me for gas to go to company meetings in another location than my work does that give them freedom to inspect my car? NO! This wouldn’t be an issue in any court.

  71. In the case below, you can always pay for YOUR OWN PERSONAL cell phone. In fact, that is exactly what I do. I have a company issued Blackberry, but I keep my own private service so I can send personal messages when I need to without fear of interception by my company, not that I’m sending anything that couldn’t be read, I just value my privacy.

    Now, if you’re expected to be on call, a company should pay you some amount during the time you are “on call” because you are supposedly prevented from leaving the immediate area and have to be able to report back to work within some period of time. If they don’t pay you some amount for “on call” time (maybe only $2/hr, but it adds up), then find somewhere else to work. I’m not sure on call time would come under the minimum wage law or not – check with an employment lawyer about that one.


    >>>Interesting that everyone states if supplied by employer the employers have a right – but what if the employer REQUIRES you to have the phone in order to be employed becuase they expect you to be on call 24/7. I understand the concept of ownership, I just don’t like the fact that more and more people in this country think companies have the right to own people.

  72. Wow Paul, I am REALLY amazed at that! I think that would be an interesting court challenge. After all, there are plenty of other companies that, because of their dealings with a particular cell company offer their employees discounts, but I have NEVER heard of one of them saying that they have the right to audit those personal cell phones for calls or text messages! I think Verizon should go down for that one – BIG TIME!!! I also think that YOU handled that incident perfectly – just move the phone beyond their grasp. You are indeed a wise person.


    >>>>>It gets even more interesting when you work for a cellular phone company!

    I am a former Verizon Wireless employee, we were “informed” (actually threatened) that because we received a % discount on our personal lines that they can still review our texts and/or phone calls at anytime as they wish.

    As an AT&T employee, I was also “informed” that we also could have our text/calls reviewed at anytime they chose on our personal lines. This would be why I have a phone through Sprint, their “threats” aren’t valid as they don’t have easy access.

  73. When you are at work using company provided emails, phones, pages they are to be used strictly for business. Carry your own phone and use it for personal business. The Supreme Court got it right. Anything you write or text is subject to company scrutiny. Keep business and personal texts and emails seperate and use your own device for personal business. Common sense and good business practice dictates your behavior on the job.

  74. I think it’s sh***y but I also think it’s a grey area: depends on what you’re texting and how often you’re texting, for starters. I really don’t think that anyone should get their panties in a bunch over a few quick texts every now and then but if it’s all the time or something, then definitely. Secondly it depends on who’s picking up the bill and how much they’re paying of it. Some companies require you to have a certain cell phone and may pick up 80% of the bill, but you have to pick up 20%. Do they have a right to tell you what to do with or review what you do with it that 20% of the time: no. So it just depends…I think that a company should have to outline their policies prior to employment, and that if they do, it’s expected that you won’t have privacy. If they don’t, then they need to butt out.

  75. You people are lucky that all you have to worry about is your company-owned devices. My bosses access our social networking sites and have spyware set up to see what we’re doing on our personal devices. We don’t have access to internet, just the company intranet, and they don’t offer us a discount on our plans so where they have the right to do this is beyond me. What does the Supreme Court say about these things?!

  76. If the company pays for it, you should be using it for work, not for personal items. If you pay for it, they should not be able to monitor what you are texting or talking about.

  77. I believe that no one should be allowed to
    Tex, make phone calls while they are at work.
    This is because they are company time and not their time to preform these task. They should wait until they are signed out of work.


    An-Drew Boger
    12:31 P. M. E. S. T.

  78. Don’t expect privacy when using any company’s phone lines, computers, cell phones, etc; and prehaps not even when you’re on “company time”.

    I stopped that years ago. I have MY OWN phone, MY OWN computer, and MY OWN everything else.

    My business is my business, and there’s not a d@*# thing they can do about it.

  79. When you are at work you should not be accessing social network sites. You should be WORKING. People who spend their time tweeting,texting, facebooking, sending personal emails, surfing the internet are STEALING time from their employer and they should be fired. If everyone worked instead of wasting time (include in that waste of time gossiping about co workers, taking smoke breaks and reading newspapers when they are NOT on break) companies would be more productive, more lucrative and definitely better to work at. Americans have developed an “entitlement” mentality and this is one of the reasons businesses are leaving this country in droves. Employers do not pay you to waste time. Productivity does not allow room or time for popularity. Play on your own time, but give to the company the time they pay you for. Otherwise you are simply stealing.

  80. people get fired about what they do harsh. Kind of reminds me of the pizza girl that got fired cause of her facebook page. I would gripe too if I were waiting on a couple for 3 hours and they gave me a horrible tip. Of course the “Supreme” Court takes stupid cases like that. One question – why are employers wasting their time to find fault with employees and why does the court bother? They should be doing something more productive in their time. Freedom of speech – NO SUCH THING PEOPLE.

  81. It is about time

    There are so many people who are so nasty when they talk.

    I will not do business with anybody that uses this nasty language.

    I would prefer to sit next to somebody who has not had a bath all year than somebody that is swearing

  82. Cindy… Companies never own you… you had a choice to work there, and you always have a choice to leave. If you don’t like the lack of privacy a company gives you, leave. The company expects certain things in return for giving you a paycheck. The company is doing you a favor by giving you a job.

  83. I think Cindy and Kathy are both right and a common ground needs to be reached where the employer is protected as well as the employee’s privacy. The question is did Mr. Quon endangered the employer or violated employer policy in any way? And if so, did the employer have enough proof of supposed violation prior to auditing his phone reguardless of the employer ownership? Because as an employee and Citezen you have a right to privacy. The employer does not own you, it mearly provided a tool for you to work with. As long as there is no proof of potetial harm to the employer then the employer should not violate employee privacy. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, DO NOT WORK FOR THESE EMPLOYERS WHENEVER YOU HAVE THESE SORT OF EMPLOYEE RIGHTS VIOLATIONS OR UNFAIR CONTRACTS WHERE EVERYTHING IS FOR THE EMPLOYER AND LITTLE OR NOTHING FOR THE EMPLOYEE. Boycot these money mongers that only seek power and absolute domination of everything and everyone.

    Thank You;

  84. A blogger made a comment about entitlement. You are damn right I am entitled. Modern Americans have realized the dollar is not as valuable as the time it consumes to earn it. They have also realized that Employers are not willing to pony up living wages whether you are educated or not. Long gone are the days of pensions and staying in one place for your entire career. Long gone are the days where you felt pride in the work you did. Long gone are the days where being a valued member of the team actually meant something… Welcome to a service nation. In the last century our job security and promise of better has disappeared. Employers have become fascist and employees have become entitled slackers. I am one of those. My time is more precious than the money you are offering since it is not enough to pay the bills or further my education. I am profitable for you and that is all you should care about… Since I live in a right to work state I am not even guaranteed a job tomorrow. Why would I be loyal and 100% PRODUCTIVE? Employers have chosen not to be. I give an honest days work for an honest dollar. No more, no less… That does not mean I work myself to the bone all day… I consume about an hour each of my working day to handle business and communicate with loved ones. Employers need to understand that we spend literally half of our waking hours (the productive ones) at work while life happens. Stop wasting the money you should and could be paying me by buying software and looking at my surfing habits, snooping on my face book, read my emails and texts! You are my employer nothing more, nothing less. We trade time for money. You do not get to know anything else about me that is not relative to my performance or in my case my profitability for you. You are means to an end because that is how you have chosen to treat me. I owe you nothing but my honest effort and time (and not 100% of it either). If you employers are so damn, smart then figure out how to make my job easier instead of harder and more invasive… Stop using the law to invade my privacy like some creepy porn addict. I have no expectation to right of privacy because this company is yours. Go ahead and spy on me though, and see what I think of you after I find out. Frankly, in this era I have no expectation of anything but exploitation of the masses by the greedy elite.

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  91. A company PAYS for your salary, why shouldn’t they be able to monitor how you spend it, where, and why?

    Think about the logical extension of these cases. If you haven’t read 1984 in a while, it’s time a WHOLE bunch of you read it again.

    We have allowed corporations to destroy our economy, and I don’t mean small business, but rather massive global, multi-national, and national, while the leaders get stupid rich while the common man suffers.

    I’m not saying that the employer shouldn’t have rights, but for the love of god, balance the rights of the employer with the employee at the very least.

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  105. Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  106. I do not, never have, and never will, send text messages. If I did, however, and anyone were to invade my privacy by spying on me, they would find they themselves in intensive care. Invasion of my privacy = pain!

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