Privacy of Employee Records on an Employer's System
Davis LLP Privacy Bulletin
June 11, 2012
The Supreme Court of Canada recently heard, and has reserved judgment in, Her Majesty the Queen v. Richard Cole.
In the meantime, the best approach for employers is to have a very clear, written technology use policy, to document the distribution of this policy to all employees and to use best efforts to avoid accessing any employee records which appear on their face to be entirely personal and/or covered by lawyer-client privilege, other than records which appear to present a risk to legitimate employer interests (such as the records involved in Cole).
Employers who are dealing with an unusual situation involving retrieval of employee email should seek specific legal counsel.