The above ruling is limited to Illinois. However, if other states’ laws allow for this expansion of employer liability, employees need to make sure they use their own personal devices to transmit e-mails and texts. Indeed, workers shouldn’t be using employer e-mails, computers, or phones for personal matters anyway. It’s not worth the risk of having an employer know your personal business.
For employers who are worried about this expansion of liability, you may be left with no other choice but to read personal e-mails and texts of your employees if they are foolish enough to transmit this information on company owned devices or through company e-mails.