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Electronic Communications/E-Mail

Master Policy

All electronic and telephonic communication systems (including e-mail, voice mail, etc.), and all communication and information transmitted by, received from, or stored in Company systems, are the property of this Company and are to be used solely for job-related purposes.

The use of any software and business equipment (including but not limited to facsimiles, telecopiers, computers, and copy machines) for private purposes is strictly forbidden, unless expressly permitted by a designated manager.

To prevent spreading viruses, violating licensing agreements, etc., employees are prohibited from installing any software, including computer games, on Company-owned computers without management’s consent.

Employees are not permitted to use a code, access a file, or retrieve any stored communication unless authorized to do so or unless they have received prior clearance from an authorized Company representative. All pass codes are property of this Company. No employee may use a pass code that has not been issued to that employee or that is unknown to Company management. Employees who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

Assigned personal passwords should not be given out to anyone.  Passwords are changed quarterly in order to maintain security. We monitor messages randomly to determine whether any outsiders are using the system or whether any violations of Company policy have occurred. Employees who violate the Company’s policies are subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.

To ensure that the use of electronic and telephonic communication systems and business equipment is consistent with the Company’s legitimate business interests, authorized representatives of the Company may monitor the use of such equipment from time to time.

Foul, inappropriate, or offensive messages — such as racial, sexual, or religious slurs — are prohibited in voice mail. Defamatory remarks about competitors are also forbidden. Violation of this policy will lead to discipline which may include discharge.

E-MAIL

Many Company policies apply to use of e-mail and our in-house system, including those concerning courtesy, harassment, reporting absences, and solicitation.

 

Employees who fail to comply with the Electronic Communications Policy or other Company policies are subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.

The Company will not tolerate defamatory or threatening messages, or messages that will create a hostile work environment.  Violation of this policy will lead to discipline, up to and including discharge.

E-mail transmissions are Company property; therefore, employees should have no expectation of privacy.  The Company reserves the right to monitor all e-mail messages, and may override any individual password in order to ensure compliance with Company policy.

The Company permits employees to send and/or receive personal e-mail messages, within reason.  Personal use of e-mail should not interfere with or conflict with business use.  Employees should use their discretion when using the company e-mail system for personal use, since these messages will be treated the same as other messages, and may be subject to monitoring.

Misuse of e-mail can result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.  Examples of misuse include, but are not limited to:

  • transmitting profane, obscene, or offensive material;
  • sending messages or jokes that violate the Company’s harassment policy or otherwise create a hostile work environment;
  • forwarding confidential information to unauthorized individuals;
  • using an unauthorized password to break into the system;
  • expressing political views; and
  • soliciting or advertising matters unrelated to business.

Only authorized persons can use e-mail.  If employees have not been issued an e-mail password, they may not use the e-mail system.  Employees may not use unauthorized codes, passwords, or other means to gain access to e-mail belonging to others.

The Company prohibits the sending or receiving of proprietary information, trade secrets, or confidential information via electronic mail.

E-mail users should draft messages with the awareness that they are a permanent record.  “Deleted” messages may exist on a hard drive, in a backup system, etc., and may be discoverable in a lawsuit.  For this reason, e-mail must be treated as any other final work product that could be read in the future by a third party.

E-mails should be treated with the same respect as telephone calls or delivered mail.  It should be treated as a formal document with proper business standards being followed.

As a condition of initial and continued employment, employees are required to sign an e-mail use agreement form.

Voice mail & e-mail are not to be used for personal messages, such as soliciting contributions or arranging for an after-work get-together.  Employees are prohibited from using voice mail or e-mail to harass other employees or to send anonymous messages.  We have a method of tracing the origination of abusive messages and will discipline all violators, up to and including discharge.

Just as the Company doesn’t permit the posting of items for solicitation on bulletin boards or the circulation of memos soliciting sales or contributions to charity, employees may not do so through the e-mail system.  E-mail must not be used to solicit for business ventures, personal parties, social meetings, political or religious causes, or other matters not connected to the Company’s business.

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