The Supreme Court will soon weigh in for the first time on the permissible scope of employer monitoring of employees’ electronic communications. Such monitoring activity raises many issues that remain the subject of uncertainty in this developing area of the law.

The case under consideration by the Court, Ontario v. Quon, arises in the context of government employees, who are protected from unreasonable searches by the Fourth Amendment. Private-sector employees have no such constitutional protection. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court’s forthcoming ruling will likely have implications for private employers who face employee claims alleging an invasion of their common-law privacy rights.

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