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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 111600
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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If I was seeking information from a former employer

Customer Question

if I was seeking information from a former employer contained in company emails and the IT director or an employee gave me access to retrieve the email from their email system would I be violating any laws if I retrieved them?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If the former employer's employee in charge of the email system allowed you access to the system to retrieve the information, then it would not be committing any offense, because you were given permission to access the emails. It would be theft and computer hacking if you accessed them without permission from the former employer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
could the former employer get a subpoena to my email to see if the IT director sent anything to me?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If the email is on the former employer's server, they can access that without your consent or permission and without a subpoena. They could also access whatever their IT director sent to you without his permission, since they own the server and emails.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but what if an email was sent to me by accident from the company server with public information in it and no one knows how or why it was sent...it showed up in my inbox and the inbox of others.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Then that is not your fault. If someone sent the email to you, that is their problem.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know who sent it. they did it by accident ...it was an employee and I don't want them to be fired. the only way they could be caught is if the company could subpoena personal email of this employee as they are likely to be suspected
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
They cannot subpoena your email unless they have a lawsuit filed already. They can see on their server if the email was sent from their server and that is all they can see.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they could file and lawsuit and subpoena emails from all parties immediately?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
They are not likely to file a lawsuit just to subpoena emails, it would cost them a fortune for little gain. I said if they want to get personal emails from others they would need to have a lawsuit filed to issue a subpoena. They are not likely to make something like this into that big of a production.