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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20289
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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A third party emails. Third party is a client of company x.

Customer Question

A third party emails***@******.***.
Third party is a client of company x.
***@******.*** recently and unexpectedly quit his job, but Company x has left employee's email active for ongoing incoming business.
Third party MEANT to reply to***@******.***, but auto populated for***@******.*** and sent to company x without noticing error.
Email contains long chain about setting up a competing business - by employee
Email contains password ***** access employee's website for new business - site is password *****
IS EMPLOYER ALLOWED TO ACCESS SITE, and IS EMPLOYER ALLOWED TO USE SITE AS EVIDENCE in a TRO/Injunctive relief hearing? (this falls into the personal passwords/employer domain bucket - I would argue that it is 100% fair for employer x to access website because email indicated it was a business and a competing business at that. The idea being that if it was a password ***** employee's personal Instagram account, employer would not have accessed it....but I need a confirmed opinion on this!! thank you!!)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the information and your question. Although we can tell you what we believe the result would be if this were litigated, only the court having jurisdiction over the issue, assuming suit is filed, could make the ultimate conclusion, after receiving all of the evidence from all parties involved. However, based solely on the information that you have provided, the employer should be able to use the information in the email for purposes of supporting an allegation of violation of a non-compete agreement since the information was sent to the employer's email (doesn't matter if the employee's name is ***** ***** email account as long as it is a employer owned and control account).

Even if the court would not allow the use by way of what the employer has seen themselves from this email, the employer's attorney could obtain the same information through discovery and deposition if there is a suit filed for violation of a non-compete. So, either way, the employer would ultimately be able to present this information to the court (either directly through their discovery or through the discovery process via suit by their attorney).

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 29th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.