N.J. Cases Allow Little Wiggle Room for Employer Email Monitoring (subscription)

Employee theft of confidential information and trade secrets is a particularly vexing problem for employers. However, the recent New Jersey Supreme Court case, State v. Saavedra, decided on June 23, gave a glimmer of hope to the corporate world by ruling that employees who "steal" confidential documents, even if done solely to support an employment discrimination suit, can be held criminally liable for theft. But, before employers celebrate this decision, they must consider Saavedra in its proper context, among a group of New Jersey cases that define the contours of employer monitoring of employee online activity at work. In the grand scheme of New Jersey law, employers must carefully balance their duty and right to monitor against the associated risks and liability.

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