Visitor Question

Using company emails for my case?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Virginia)

I have already been through the EEOC process and filed civil suit (Title VII based suit) against a previous employer. I was a full-time employee of this company for 3 years.

Approximately 8 months prior to being terminated, I began to recognize unfair and unequal treatment to actually be Discrimination and Retaliation. I also recognized that there was evidence of the culture dating back to my initial hire.

The bulk of my evidence lives in company emails between myself and multiple individuals at the company. I needed to use these emails to create a timeline and organize the facts, timing, etc.

This ‘evidence’, in the form of an easy to follow chronology, was presented both to the EEOC and my state’s Department of Labor. Both reviewed the case and said nothing about the fact that I had used so many company emails – about 100 pages worth (3 yrs of employment) – to support my claims.

The only way I could create the necessary documents to substantiate my charges was to utilize these emails. Prior to being terminated I exported a copy of my outlook email folder – the emails were only used to support my case in documents shown only to EEOC, Department of Labor, and my attorney.

Given the 3 years of activity, it would have been impossible for me to build a case that would stand up, unless I had and used those emails. Is this going to be a problem as the case moves forward? Is there any way to mitigate definite or potential issues surrounding this? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

It is our policy at Injury Claim Coach not to interfere with the attorney-client relationship. To do so would be wholly inappropriate. It is in your best interest to continue to seek the advice and counsel of your attorney.

Generally speaking, in matters of company emails, they are normally proprietary. They belong to the company and appropriating them without express permission may be considered actionable. For a thorough review of material which may be considered proprietary see this site.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 29, 2015

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