Reaction Paper: Right to Privacy at Workplace Issue
Made by: Roberto J. LÃÂ³pez
Professor: Dr. Frederick V. Perry
Law Environment for Business (BUL 6810)
Subject: Right to Privacy at Workplace
Juan Rodriguez v. Puma Oil Company
In a Privacy court case, Juan Rodriguez was hired by Puma Oil Company as a Quality Product Manager. Puma Oil Corporation ("Puma") provided Juan with a personal computer and access to the company's e-mail system to aid him in the performance of his job duties. Access to this e-mail system was gained by use of a network password, which password was known by Juan Rodriguez and Puma. In addition, Puma permitted Rodriguez to maintain on this PC a "personal folder" in which he could store e-mail he received. Access to this folder was via a second password known only to Rodriguez. Later, Rodriguez was accused for sexual harassment by a coworker. During the investigation of the accusations, Rodriguez informed Puma that e-mails in his personal folder would aid him in disproving these allegations.
Puma denied Rodriguez access to any of his emails except he specially requested them and it was authorized by Puma. Rodriguez sent a letter to Puma requesting them to not to interfere with his computer unit or his personal email folder. After the completion of the investigation, Rodriguez was fired by Puma. Juan Rodriguez brought the court case against Puma for invasion of privacy as they entered into his computer and emails, which were password protected on the computer. In this suit, Juan Rodriguez alleged that his former employer's act of reading e-mail stored in a "personal folder" on plaintiff's personal office computer, and disseminating that e-mail to third parties, violated his right of privacy under Arkansas law. The Arkansas Court of Appeals disagreed, and affirmed the trial court's...