Though born in New York City and most often look at as a NY boy, I’ve lived many years of my life in New Jersey. I know all the jokes (“what exit?!?”), and have grown fond of informing people that most of New Jersey is quite green and doesn’t look like an industrial wasteland. Yes, “The Garden State” has every right to be called that.

I’m horrified by MTV’s unreality program The Jersey Shore. I know lots of folks in New Jersey who are very smart, and like to remind people that both Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were Jersey Boys.

The current justices of New Jersey’s Supreme Court are not on my smart New Jerseyan list. Yesterday, The highest court in New Jersey ruled unanimously that even if you warn your employees that that have no right to privacy when using your computers, you can’t read what they write or receive though email on them.

I’m all for privacy. But there comes a point where the idea doesn’t hold water. You certainly don’t expect privacy, for example, when using ChatRoulette, and from a very simple perspective if you use a resource owned by your employer and are advised that everything you leave on that resource belongs to them, then it . .  belongs to them.

I’m not an attorney, but I know more than a little about employment law because as an agent of business change for Answer Guy Central ‘s clients, I need to understand many issues including the practical application of business law, human resources, and the intersection of those ideas—one of which is privacy. And basically the idea comes down to being informed and what your reasonable expectation of privacy might be.

It’s MY computer. You’re on MY time. I’ve informed you of my policies. Done.

The ruling seems to be fairly narrow, by the way, and I predict that lawyers will be arguing the nuances of this for many years to come. But for now, we’re looking at the New Jersey Supreme Court having enacted business change that should leave employers quaking.

Head’s up. And Contact Us if you have questions . . .

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