On January 22, 2015, the New Jersey Appellate Division reaffirmed an employer’s right to monitor an employee’s use of his or her workplace computer, including a review of the employee’s Internet browser history. In Liebeskind v Rutgers University, A-0544-12T1, the plaintiff filed a common law invasion of privacy claim against his former employer after his supervisors viewed his Internet browsing history to determine whether he spent excessive time on non-work tasks. Noting that the employer (1) had a legitimate interest in monitoring and regulating the plaintiff’s workplace computer, and (2) had a policy informing employees that it reserved the right to examine material stored or transmitted through its facilities to determine improper use, the Appellate Division rejected the plaintiff’s privacy-based claims. Contrasting the New Jersey Supreme Court’s employee-friendly Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc. decision (see the April 2010 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority)—which ruled that the attorney-client privilege protected emails sent from a company computer through an employee’s password-protected personal email account—the court here found that the plaintiff’s Internet browsing history on his workplace computer enjoyed no similar expectation of privacy.


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