New Jersey employment law generally recognizes that employees have a limited right to privacy in the workplace, including in their digital life. However, a recent federal appellate decision limited the reach of employee privacy. It is an unpublished decision, and therefore not binding. However, it is a troubling outcome.
The New Jersey Supreme Court Finds Employees Have Privacy Rights
People generally have a right to privacy which they do not lose when entering the work force. The New Jersey Supreme Court explained in the 1992 case of Hennessey v. Coastal Eagle Point Oil Co. that the source of this right in New Jersey Employment law comes from the New Jersey Constitution and the common law. However, in that same case, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy in the workplace is not absolute, and may yield to legitimate public policy concerns such as public and employee safety.