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April 27, 2018
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CONFIDENTIALITY OF TEXT MESSAGES
Updated On: May 10, 2010

 In Quon v. Arch Wireless Operating Co., 554 F.3d 769 (9th Cir. 2009), cert. granted, 130 S.Ct. 1011 (2009), a Federal Appeals Court addressed the issue of whether employees have a protected expectation of privacy in their text messages sent over employer-owned pagers. In Quon, a city employer contracted with a wireless compnay to provide two way pagers to city employees. While the city had no specific policy regarding personal use of the pagers, the city had a general computer and e-mail policy which provided that computers and related equiptment were city property and could not be used for personal reasons. However, despite this policy, the city also had an informal practice whereby employees' texts would not be audited as long as they paid any texting overage charges incurred.

Nonetheless, pursuant to an internal affairs investigation, the city audited the text messages of an employee who exceeded his monthly text allowance and discovered that the employee used his pager to send personal and sexually explicit text messages. The employee brought suit against the employer and the wireless provider, claiming that his Fourth Amendment rights against illegal searches were violated. The Court agreed, stating that the informal policy of not auditing employees' texts so long as they paid their overage charges created a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in the text messages. Furthermore, the Court held that the search itself violated the Fourth Amendment because it was unreasonable, as there were less intrusve ways of determining whether the employee violated the company policy, such as informing the employee that their pager was for work-related purposes only and that the next month, their text messages would be monitored to ensure compliance.

   However, the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal on this case, so it is unclear whether the holding in Quon will be upheld. In the meantime, it is critical that employees not use employer-owned computers, e-mail systems, and other communications devices to conduct personal business, to avoid any claims that the employee's messages violate employer policy.


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  • This Web page provides the latest updates for the national contract, riders and supplements that cover about 3,500 Teamsters at DHL Express.

  • We Are eXPOsing XPO’s Global Greed

    XPO Logistics is a top ten global logistics and transportation company with annual revenue of $15 billion and 89,000 employees, another 10,000 workers classified as independent contractors, and thousands more working for firms that subcontract with XPO. We are the REAL workers at XPO Logistics worldwide exposing the truth about the company’s global greed, illegal wage theft, unsafe conditions, and abhorrent and vicious anti-worker, anti-union tactics. 

    This greed includes mistreating former Con-way Freight workers in the United States who are being kept in the dark about terminal closures and layoffs, and the company’s illegal refusal to bargain contracts and denying their workers’ federally protected right to organize. It also includes port, rail and last-mile drivers around the country and in Southern California fighting wage theft in excess of $200 million because they are misclassified as independent contractors and denied the right to form their union. This greed has caused numerous lawsuits and strikes.  Greed also means an unsafe workplace and mistreating its warehouse employees.

    XPO’s greed extends to Europe beginning with breaking its promise to not layoff any workers for at least 18 months. French workers and the unions have been fighting back against XPO’s disrespect, lies and attempts to slash jobs. Similar struggles are taking place in Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and across Europe.

    Join the worldwide struggle now! Get involved with this campaign by joining the Facebook group “XPO Exposed.”

    Together, we can eXPOse the company’s global greed and win fairness, respect and dignity for tens of thousands of XPO employees around the world!

  • This page provides the latest contract information to the 7,500 Teamsters—drivers, dockworkers and office staff—employed by ABF Freight System, Inc.

  • Workers’ pensions are being endangered by both Congress and those charged with overseeing them. The Teamsters and our members are standing united to say “No!” to cuts and “Yes!” to greater retirement security!

  • The ‘Let’s Get America Working!’ campaign seeks to restore a dynamic and prosperous middle class to drive economic growth by helping to advance policy decisions that create and maintain good middle-income jobs, guarantee retirement security, expand access to the American Dream, and ensure that the benefits of the ongoing economic recovery are felt by the many, not just the few.

  • This webpage provides information on the Teamsters Union’s legislative advocacy at both the federal and state level as well as our field activity to support those policy positions and to get strong labor candidates elected to office.  Among other resources, you will find our federal legislative scorecard, formal statements of policy position and communications to Capitol Hill,  a weekly update on federal legislative happenings, an overview of bills we are tracking at the state level, and quick links to take action on priority issues.

  • This web page provides information on the ongoing effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since 1994, NAFTA has devastated working families, putting corporate profits ahead of people.  What’s worse is that NAFTA has become the blueprint for all other trade agreements, from the way that it was negotiated in secret, to the bad provisions that have made their way into every agreement that has been signed since then.  Now, NAFTA is being renegotiated and we demand that it be reframed to work for workers instead of corporate interests.

  • The Teamsters have stood in solidarity with worker struggles in other countries since our founding. With economic globalization, our ability to organize increasingly depends on our ability to build alliances with workers on a global scale.
    More than ever, Teamsters are organizing and bargaining with multi-national companies. A key objective of our Global Strategies Campaign is to build strong alliances with unions around the globe who organize and bargain with common employers. Our focus is on workers in the emerging global supply chains – the infrastructure of globalization.
    Globalization creates new opportunities for international worker solidarity. We seek common cause with workers around the world to build social justice for all workers and the communities in which they live.

  • The contributions of black members to the success of the Teamsters Union are numerous, varied and as old as the union itself. This month, the Teamsters Union spotlights some of those contributions.

 
 
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