Maryland employee rights attorney Bruce Luchansky answers the question: “Is it legal for my employer to review my internet usage and read personal emails on my company computer in Maryland?”

In certain circumstances, it is illegal for an employer to demand access to your personal emails.  A new law in Maryland prohibits employers from being able to require employees to disclose any user name, password, or other means for accessing personal account or service on an employee’s computer or smart phone. Therefore, any personal computer information – such as emails – which is protected by log-in information may not be reviewed by your employer.  On the other hand, where unprotected personal internet or email information is located on a company computer, an employee’s expectation of privacy is greatly reduced, and it is more likely that an employer will have the right to view it.  These laws are complex and require careful analysis and judgment to determine whether an employee’s rights have been violated.