Email Abuse

Written by Gregg Ruais
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The definition of email abuse as it pertains to corporate email varies greatly from the meaning of the term as defined by the government. For the most part, people can do whatever they want with their private email so long as they do not harm others or break the law. The government will do nothing to someone who shares legal adult pictures and movies via email. Private citizens have the right to send anything they want to their friends. In the corporate world, these same practices are defined as abuse and lead to termination.

What Is Email Abuse?

Businesses can ascribe any meaning they like to the term email abuse. While the use of company email accounts for personal use is never encouraged, many corporate leaders have no problem with someone sending an occasional email to mom and dad. Even when the company policy states all personal emails are prohibited, the majority of managers look the opposite way as long as their employees complete their work on time. After all, the managers probably use company email for personal use as well.

Regardless of where you work (unless you work for Hustler Magazine), you'll probably find yourself on the hot seat for sharing pornographic files with coworkers using company email. These types of emails place companies at risk. Not only are these messages wastes of company time, they could lead to harassment charges or the defamation of a business's name. Of course, engaging in email behavior the government considers illegal can lead to immediate dismissal from a job.

Office email jokes often fall into a gray area. Most people agree that having some fun at work is actually productive, but where do you draw the line? How do you determine which jokes are acceptable and which ones will offend people? There is no clear answer to this question, and some companies prohibit joke emails altogether. Not everyone will show keen judgment. It's inevitable that some people will find certain jokes offensive. At most companies, each incident of email abuse is handled differently, due to the fact that some infractions are worse than others.

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