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Beware the Pitfalls of Email

A case that came before the Superior Court of Ontario in Canada recently serves as a salutary reminder of the dangers that can befall a business who are not very careful with their use of email. In this case, a Senior Manager sent an email to their Lawyer regarding the possible termination of employment of […]

Beware the Pitfalls of Email

Beware the Pitfalls of Email

By Aylward Game - Mar 21, 2013 Employment Law

A case that came before the Superior Court of Ontario in Canada recently serves as a salutary reminder of the dangers that can befall a business who are not very careful with their use of email. In this case, a Senior Manager sent an email to their Lawyer regarding the possible termination of employment of one of their employees. (Beware the Pitfalls)

Unfortunately, the manager mistakenly cc’d that email to the Employee who was being considered for dismissal. Having received and read the email, the employee left her employment and started proceedings in the court for wrongful dismissal from her employment, with the contents of the email that she had mistakenly been sent forming part of her case for wrongful dismissal. The employer attempted to argue that the contents of that email were privileged between them and their Lawyer and should not be able to be used by the employee. The Court accepted that the email was indeed privileged but the court took the view that in those circumstances it was unfair to maintain the legal professional privilege and the court determined that the privilege should be waived and the employee was, therefore, free to use the contents of that email as part of her claim.

This is an easy mistake to make and the facts of this case serve as a reminder of the importance of taking great care with the use of emails.

 

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