Can I sue my employer for viewing my private email on my home computer via VPN?

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Can I sue my employer for viewing my private email on my home computer via VPN?

Asked on January 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assuming (1) it was your computer, not the company's, and (2) you did not send the email using a company server, internet connection, email system, etc., then what they did is wrong. (Companies may view emails sent using their own equipment and systems.) However, even if what they did is wrong, it is unclear what you could sue them for, unless you have suffered some injury or loss due to this. That is because the U.S. legal system, for the most part, only compensates for actual injuries, not "just" violations of rights; therefore, if you did not lose money, lose a job, etc., if you sued the company, the odds are good that you would expend more on the lawsuit than you could recover in terms of compensation.


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