A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday is a good reminder why you should never write anything in an e-mail or text message while at work that you wouldn't mind everyone else seeing ... including your boss.
The court ruled employers are entitled to view employees' e-mails and text messages sent while on the job. This is bad news for Ontario, Calif., police Sgt. Jeff Quon, who lost the 9-0 high court decision after his boss read text messages Quon sent to his wife and a girlfriend. Oops.
This ruling shouldn't come as a shock. If you're on company time using company computers and phones, the boss has a right to make sure those devices are being used for job-related duties and not excessively for personal stuff that should be done off the clock.
Few bosses would object to an employee occasionally checking a sports score or sending a message to a friend or spouse while on the job, just so it doesn't become excessive. And one of the ways for bosses to check when they're suspicious is to inspect the content of the employee's messages and Web site visits.
Consider yourself warned.