The good news, is that no, your employer has no legal right to your text message record. The bad news is that if you are an employee at will, your employer is allowed to terminate your employment for any reason that they want that does not violate your civil rights or is in breach of contract. So, if you refuse, your employer could terminate you. However, if they do this, you would be able to file for unemployment benefits and claim, quite rightly, that you were terminated "without cause" and will receive unemployment benefits.That being said, if you believe that the real reason they are asking for this could be related to a protected category, such as your age (40 or older), gender, race, religion, genetic information, pregnancy, national origin, creed, or disability then you should make a formal complaint to HR stating that you feel that you are being discriminated against because of the protected category. Then, if they continued to make you provide this and no one else, you may have an additional retaliation claim against this employer for taking any adverse employment action against you as a result.I realize that the law is not entirely in your favor here and I am truly sorry to have to deliver bad news. Nonetheless, I trust that you will appreciate an accurate explanation of the law and realize that it would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further. If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.
I wanted to write to check up to see if you had any additional questions or concerns concerning your question. If you do have additional questions or need additional clarification please do not hesitate to ask. Please remember that I do not know what you may already know or with that you need help with unless you tell me. If you have not provided a positive rating because you would like a different expert to answer your question, please ask and I will opt out of the question so that another expert may answer. If, however, you found the information helpful to you, please do not forget to provide me with a positive rating by clicking on one of the happy faces, or I will not receive any credit for my time in trying to assist you. Please keep in mind that even after a rating has been issued you can continue to ask questions related to the original post and I will be happy to answer them. If for some reason the rating feature is not working or you cannot find it, please write me back and let me know. Please remember that when you are asked to give a rating, you are rating My Service and not this website itself or the law as it applies to your case. I wish you all the best in 2013.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).