If my employer is monitoring only my emails and no one else’s, is this considered harassment?

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If my employer is monitoring only my emails and no one else’s, is this considered harassment?

In an office of 14 employees, my manager has been trying to find cause to fire me. In doing so, he has monitored only my emails and no one else’s. Is this grounds for harassment?

Asked on February 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is commonly believed that an employer may not harass employees, or treat one employee differently than another; however, this is not generally true. Employers may single one employee out for different (or worse) treatment, as long as they are not doing so on the basis of a protected characteristic. That is, so long as they are not doing this because of your race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability (under federal law; some states also protect a few other characteristics, such as sexual orientation, family status or national origin), it is legal.


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