In case you haven’t noticed, the last decade or so has seen the coinage of dozens of new words based on developing technology and cultural memes. For example, you can use your i-Phone to carry on an e-Relationship with someone who shares your passion for LOLCats. However, the internet is not all fun and games. For employers, managing the documentation of email correspondence and other online activities is serious business.
Litigation Requirements Have Evolved
If a lawsuit arises and electronic records are assumed to contain evidence relevant to the case, the court may decide that it is an employer’s responsibility to produce this data during the discovery phase of litigation. This could occur when a company is seeking damages against a former employee for violating company policy regarding proprietary information. Or, a company might be the target of a lawsuit because of the behavior of an employee on the clock. This might be triggered by a worker using company equipment for illegal activities such as sharing pirated songs/videos or sending harassing messages.
In these situations, an employer must make more than just a general effort to present all relevant data during e-Discovery. The Court of Chancery in Delaware recently spoke up about this issue and recommended that defendants be closely monitored by council to ensure that they carry out a thorough search of all pertinent ESI (electronically stored information). It’s just too easy for data to be overlooked or destroyed – intentionally or otherwise. If this oversight is discovered, it can lead to fines or otherwise bias the decision of the court against the employer.
How Should YOU Manage Your Organization’s Email?
Should you wait until your company is embroiled in a lawsuit to start thinking about how to handle your ESI? Perhaps it would make more sense to implement systems/processes that ensure emails are stored in a consistent manner. They should be easily searchable and ready for production in the event of a court order to undertake e-Discovery.
At Emerald Software Group, we specialize in developing rules based programs that promote best business practices and compliance in onboarding. We also use the same methodology to create solutions for other employer requirements as well. We’ve even got an email management module that can assist any client (regardless of what CMS they use) in handling their email records.
This system gives you the ability to easily archive, access, and otherwise manage company email for maximum compliance with the law and adherence to internal business rules. Imagine how much money you could save by not having to hire a forensic specialist to dig through your system to hunt down missing or deleted emails in the event of litigation!