Educating Employees about Using Corporate E-Mail Services

The importance of having a corporate e-mail policy has been covered in the previous post.  One useful tool for educating employees about the policy is a transmittal letter or memorandum that highlights the main elements of the policy that should be regularly distributed to employees (e.g., at least annually) along with an updated version of the actual policy itself.  For ease of reference and the highest level of utility, the document should be organized in a way that matches the contents of the e-mail policy and should also include references to specific text regarding an issue within the actual policy.  For example, the document (and the policy itself) should cover the following: 

  • Company e-mail systems and services are company facilities, property and resources;
  • E-mail users are required to comply with state and federal law, company policies, and normal standards of professional and personal courtesy and conduct;
  • The company may permit the inspection, monitoring, or disclosure of e-mail in certain circumstances;
  • Using e-mail for illegal and unapproved commercial activities is strictly prohibited;
  • Company e-mail services may be used for incidental personal purposes provided that such use does not directly or indirectly interfere with the company operation of computing facilities or e-mail services, interfere with the e-mail users’ employment or other obligations to the company or violate applicable policies or laws;
  • The confidentiality of e-mail cannot be assured, and such confidentiality may be compromised by access consistent with applicable law or policy; and
  • E-mail to users and operators must follow sound professional practices in providing for the security of e-mail records.

The content in this post has been adapted from material that will appear in Business Counsel Update (April 2008) and is presented with permission of Thomson/West.  Copyright 2008 Thomson/West.  For more information or to order call 1-800-762-5272.

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