Is It Legal To Monitor Your Employee’s Emails?

If you manage several employees who work remotely via the computer, you may want to ensure they are using their work time productively. That means not dawdling on social media websites or e-mailing personal contacts during work hours. However, it’s important to consider what the law says about monitoring your employee’s emails.

It’s legal to monitor your employee’s work emails, but it may be illegal to monitor their private emails. Employers can legally monitor what their employees do during work hours, including their emails and office devices. However, there are limits to the extent of monitoring allowed.

Learning about the employers’ rights and responsibilities regarding monitoring their employee’s emails is necessary. This article will discuss federal law on tracking employees’ emails.

Federal Law on Monitoring Employees’ Emails

Federal law applies to everyone in the United States of America; thus, any federal regulations surrounding the monitoring of employees’ work activities apply to everyone in the country.

In this circumstance, no federal laws ban the surveillance of employees’ work-related tasks and emails. Anything the employee does when using the company’s computer systems — even if the tasks are personal — can be legally tracked by the employer.

Some states have specific policies they need to follow when surveilling employees. For example, in Connecticut, Delaware, Colorado, and Tennessee, employers must give their employees notice of upcoming surveillance.

Otherwise, it is perfectly legal for employers to monitor anything done using the company’s computer systems. In fact, the right to employee surveillance is protected under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. It’s important to remember that the employer can only monitor an employee’s work during working hours and with a valid professional reason.

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was developed in 1986 to highlight how certain conversations over the telephone could be intercepted and used for legal or other purposes. Over the years, this legislation has been updated to reflect the changes in technology and the digital age.

Why Is Email Monitoring Legal?

The main reason for legalizing email monitoring is to protect the company’s interests. Companies can proactively defend themselves against fraud, security threats, and data breaches if they know their employees’ communications.

Plus, companies can legally monitor all communications on company-owned devices. As a result, anything the employee does on that device is the company’s property. The employer can legally monitor all email communications on that device, including personal ones.

However, workers’ privacy is vital. Employers should only use company technology for work-related purposes. Email monitoring helps employers ensure that company technology is used appropriately by employees.

Do Employers Need Consent to Monitor Emails?

Employers do not usually need consent to monitor emails. However, in some states, employers may need to inform employees that they will be surveilling their work using monitoring software.

States like Connecticut, Delaware, Colorado, and Tennessee are examples of those that require employers to give notice about upcoming surveillance.

Do Some Countries Ban Employee Monitoring?

While no country outright bans email monitoring, some have strict laws regarding the use of such software and the employer’s legal duty to inform employees when they’re being monitored. In 2017, Europe’s human rights courts declared that employee monitoring could only be completed if the employee was notified beforehand.

This ruling came about because an employee in Romania, who had downloaded Yahoo Messenger to work with clients, also had personal conversations on the app. Employers read the transcripts of the employee’s private conversations and subsequently fired him.

This case pushed several technology and privacy laws into existence, and countries such as France, Denmark, Germany, Italy, and Sweden have particular regulations about surveilling employees’ private emails.

According to these rules, employers need permission to read private emails. This ruling is vital because a lack of privacy for employees could lead to the abuse of their personal communications.

Best Way To Monitor Your Employee’s Emails

You can use different methods to monitor your employee’s emails and other work-related activities.

  • One way to monitor your employee’s productivity is to install time-tracking software on computer devices. This software will track how long it takes for your employee to complete a specific task.
  • You can also install project management software or ask your employees for self-reports on the work they complete during a shift. At the same time, you can ask for supervision and managerial reports about the day’s work.

One such software is Wolfeye, which serves as an employee monitoring system for small businesses and internet surveillance for parents to monitor their children’s technology use.

What Are the Benefits of Remote Screen Monitoring?

Remote screen monitoring is beneficial for several reasons.

  • Remote screen monitoring improves efficiency. When employers can surveil their employees‘ work tasks, they can ensure they won’t get distracted by mundane tasks or spend too long on one task.
  • Remote screen monitoring boosts productivity. Employers can ensure that their employees are 100% productive with their time and energy, which boosts the company’s overall performance.
  • Remote screen monitoring can aid with personnel decisions. These software allow employers to watch their employees work. Screen monitoring can help the employer make the right decisions about the employee’s future with the company.
  • Wolfeye Remote Screen monitoring can save data. Wolfeye’s screen monitoring system can save data through screenshots, which can be useful in the long term when you need to retrieve specific information.

What Are the Downfalls of Using Remote Screen Monitoring?

As with any surveillance system, remote screen monitoring has a few downfalls. Some employees might view it as a breach of privacy and lose trust in you. It’s also vital that, as the employer, you know how to treat sensitive information that you may come across through surveillance.

Employees may feel upset or think their employer doesn’t trust them. They may also feel they cannot trust their employers because being monitored breeds distrust and discomfort. That’s why the subtlety of Wolfeye is ideal — it doesn’t feel intrusive.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that you may come across sensitive or personal information regarding your employee(s), and it’s your job to understand your rights and your workers’ rights in these circumstances.


1. The Employees’ Right to Privacy

Your employee has a right to privacy, and it’s your job to ensure you protect their confidential information under the United States federal laws, such as the Video Privacy Protection Act and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

However, some company policies can override certain privacy and protection acts, so checking with a lawyer in your state is one of the best ways to be proactive regarding ensuring the protection of your employee’s rights.

Generally speaking, employees understand that they have little privacy when on work grounds and that whatever they do or say using work devices belongs to the company. However, employees can pursue legal action if there is some form of a data breach that results in personal health information being leaked or exposed.


2. The Rights of the Employer

At the same time, you also have rights as an employer. It’s the employer’s right to monitor their employee’s work to ensure productivity, efficiency, and appropriate use of time. In fact, anything done using a company system, device, or software is considered the company’s property. So, any emails the employees send or receive belong to the company.

However, there are two caveats. The employer should only monitor their employee’s work and emails on company time. Surveillance outside of work hours is illegal. Additionally, the employer needs a sufficient, business-related reason to monitor emails.

Should the employer come across an employee’s sensitive information — and, for the sake of the story, let’s say the employer accidentally or intentionally shared that information with someone else — they could be in violation of several privacy laws and at risk of legal challenges.

Wolfeye Remote Screening encourages all clients to speak with lawyers knowledgeable about specific state laws regarding monitoring and privacy matters.

Why Use Wolfeye To Monitor Employees’ Emails?

Wolfeye Remote Screen is perfect for surveillance for a few different reasons. It’s designed to be the perfect monitoring tool for employers and employees. You can install this software in three languages, and it’s perfect for small businesses.


1. Wolfeye is Subtle and Minimally Intrusive

The software will begin working as soon as the user logs in for the day, and it’s also invisible, making it subtle and minimally intrusive. The employee won’t notice the software starting up during log-in, nor will the surveillance be obnoxious or distracting.

A lack of distraction is important for keeping your employee on track with their work tasks, so Wolfeye was designed with a ‘hide’ option to provide as little distraction as possible.


2. Screenshots, Precision, and Identical Viewing

Wolfeye is also useful because it shows the employer exactly what the employee is looking at on their own screens. It will highlight any tabs the employee has open and can even take screenshots if necessary. It can also show the employer the exact URL link their employees use.

The software supports three languages (German, English, and Spanish), making it easier for people to download and install.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few questions about Wolfeye Remote Screen and how it works.


What Else Can Wolfeye Do for Clients?

Wolfeye Remote Screen is also available to parents who want to monitor their children’s internet usage. You can surveil who your child is chatting with online and protect them from any potential cyberbullying they may experience.

You can also monitor what websites your child is visiting and work to prevent them from consuming any age-inappropriate internet content. In a day and age where technology is everywhere and children have access to all parts of the internet, being able to monitor their computer usage is vital.


How Do You Use Wolfeye Remote Screen?

Wolfeye Remote Screen is easy to use. Just purchase it, download it, and install it on the computer. This tutorial provides detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to use the software.

Here’s a quick guide on setting it up.

  • Purchase and download the necessary software. To do this, ensure that your computer’s antivirus software will not identify Wolfeye Remote Screen as a virus. You will also be given a licensing code and have to download a ZIP file containing the software.
  • Run the program and begin the Wolfeye setup. You can explore the options for screen sharing and recording by opening up the control window. The control window will also allow you to “hide” your monitoring and examine your employee’s direct internet activity.
  • Remember that the program must be running to screen record and share. The screen recording and sharing will cease when you shut down the program. You can also uninstall the software through the control panel.


Is There a Trial Period?

Wolfeye Remote Screen offers a 3-day trial period to test out the software. After that trial period, your WRS licensing automatically renews, and you can successfully access the software for your business use.

In this trial period, you get to discover how the software works and how you can track your employee’s work activity efficiently and subtly. Conveniently, you don’t have to do much else after the three-day trial period to get started with Wolfeye.


How Long Does a License Last?

The Wolfeye Remote Screen license lasts 12 months before you need to renew it. The license allows you to access the monitoring system’s features after the three-day trial period.

Wolfeye also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee if you’re unhappy with it.


Who Is Wolfeye Best Suited For?

Wolfeye Remote Screen monitoring is best suited for small businesses dealing with employees working remotely. The software is also ideal for parents who want to subtly monitor their children’s computer and internet usage.

This software is not suited for extremely large or international companies.

Final Thoughts

It is perfectly legal to monitor your employee’s emails under federal law. While there might be ethical concerns with employee monitoring, businesses are legally protected if they monitor their employees.

Wolfeye Remote Screen is an excellent software to ensure optimum employee productivity. It allows for identical viewing, screenshots, subtle start-up and surveillance, monitoring of any computer access, and so much more.



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