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Active Questions

Can employer look through an employee's personal cell phone at work and forward the texts.
Career / 12:15 PM - Tuesday July 27, 2010

Can employer look through an employee's personal cell phone at work and forward the texts.

I was employed as a nanny but through the husband's physician's practice so I could get benefits. The wife took my cell phone out of my bag and looked through 140 of my texts, forwarded some to her husband and questioned another Nanny in the house about some of the texts. Obviously we have parted ways. Is this criminal or illegal?

- Asked by A Hippie Chick, Female, 56-65, Tampa

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As long as you own the phone and pay the bill for it, it's not really any of her business.
Also, maybe if this lady spent less time going through other peoples things she wouldn't need two nannys and could raise her own damned kids.

- Response by falsehammer, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 29-35, Kansas City, Consulting

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That's an invasion of privacy and as an employer could really get herself in a lot of trouble!!!

If it were me, I would have consulted an attorney to see what my recourse would be! Totally uncalled for!

- Response by mrscleaver16, A Married Girl, Female, 66 or older

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It's neither criminal nor illegal, but it is just plain rude. She had no business doing that, but clearly you've done the right thing by moving on.

If her concern was the amount of time you spent texting when you were in charge of her children, you need to keep in mind that that would have been inappropriate on your part.

- Response by trawna, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Toronto, Consulting

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not sure on the legality of it, but it being a day care, as a boss i would wonder if you are taking pictures of kids in bad positions and emailing them, so thats a possibility, dunno

but i do know that you are NOT paid to text people, so you were wasting company time and money, if i was your boss i would be going after you for that, get some of that money back

you are not paid to talk to your friends via text


- Response by beautifulloser, A Rebel, Male, 36-45, Detroit, Executive

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on company time your boss can do anything.

- Response by A Career Man, Male, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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I would be furious at her for putting her hands in my purse and getting my cell phone. That is an invasion of your privacy and its a good thing you parted ways with these shady people. I would report her to the insurance company or whoever it was she was using to get benefits for you. She is committing fraud and that is illegal.

- Response by 3wiltedroses, A Player, Female, Who Cares?, Self-Employed

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They should not do that and why u would let them is beyond me I am a employer and I do not allow cel phones to be turned on during work hours though

- Response by bigcurt, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 56-65, Pittsburgh, Self-Employed

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Actually it is illegal. Not only is it an invasion of privacy because she went through your personal belongings, it is no different then theft! She had to go into your personal bag without probbable cause and that is illegal. If you really want to do something about it, consult an attorney. Employees have rights just like employers. And since it was not her phone, her bag and she had no search warrant she is not allowed to search and seize anything that is not hers. Now if you signed something stating she has the right to go through your personal belongings before and after leaving your job then there is nothing you can do about it. Its kinda like going to the court house. You know you have to go thru a metal detector before entering a court room and if they find anything on you before you enter they have the right to take it. If I go to my job and my boss wants to search my bag because he thinks I stole something then the only way he has legal right to do so is by calling the police, filing a report and doing it legally. I know the world is sue happy and if it is really an issue with you, then talk to an attorney and get her for violating your privacy, pain and suffering and loss of wages. JMO, good luck!

- Response by sh0114, Female, 46-55, Administrative

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