Work Emails to Spouses May Not be Protected by Marital Privilege

14 December 2012
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Key takeaways

  • The Fourth Circuit held that spousal email communications are not privileged if stored on an employer's email system when the employer has advised employees that emails can be monitored and reviewed.
  • Even where emails were exchanged with a spouse before the monitoring policy, failure to delete them after the policy came into effect constituted a waiver of marital privilege.
  • The decision highlights that employees cannot and should not expect privacy in any message transmitted using an employer's device or system.