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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Employee Privacy

Volume 3 . Chapter 8, Part 5 . § 8-29
Key Point 8-29 Employees may have a limited right of privacy in their workspace that may extend to the contents of their desk and cabinet drawers, and employer-provided computers. This right of privacy can be superseded by a policy that clearly authorizes the employer to inspect these items.

Do employees have a "right of privacy" in their workspace? Are the contents of their desk off limits to prying staff? Can church leaders dismiss an employee if they find pornographic files on his office computer? Or, would this amount to an invasion of the employee's privacy or a violation of wiretap laws? These were the questions addressed by a federal court in Wisconsin.297

A church employed a young man ("Don") as its youth pastor. By accepting this position, ...

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