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Unread 03-07-2010, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Inland Empire
2,144 posts, read 1,517,135 times
Reputation: 1396
The company I worked for, as a matter of policy, opened all mail before it was put into individual folders and delivered to the proper department. The mail was never opened and read, just cut open to make it easier for the recipient.
If you have anything you don't want read, don't receive it at your work place.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,102 posts, read 7,428,257 times
Reputation: 5457
Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
She's probably allowed to do this -- has done it all along and will continue to do it (long after you're gone). Things go on in many businesses that shouldn't. And sometimes these people get by with things because they fill the "right" people in -- they are even protected. If you try to take them on, you can be the one hurt in the end. You may be better off to move on to another job that doesn't allow this kind of thing in the first place.

I've seen more than one time where someone "mistakenly" opened someone else's pay check envelope - and they got by with it.
It's not something I'd quit over. I know they monitor all internet use and can access your personal e-mail if you use their computers to check it. I've not done anything that I would care than anyone see. It's not like I've done anything inappropriate on line or in e-mail. And it's not like the letter was inappropriate. However, I've received other letters in the mail - including stuff from our Corporate office which she'd have reason to open - that she doesn't open. It just seems like she's doing it backwards and I wonder if it's for her own self gratification / snoopiness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratford, Ct. Resident View Post
Yes and no.

If you were absent from the workplace, and the piece was addressed as: "mrs1885 F&B Manager", your employer would be entitled to open it. If it just said "mrs1885", your employer would not be permitted to open it. They would only be permitted to refuse it and return it to its sender, un-opened. Having said that, it is quite possible that a postal automation machine could have ripped the letter open. For that reason, i personally would tread carefully on leveling a snooping accusation.
It was addressed to me only, not my job title on there. I was off the day it came in. And no, it was definitely opened by her not a machine. I spoke with several other employees that said she opens theirs too. I sent the e-mail to the HR Director and she said she opens all mail. Really? Then why doesn't she open my mail from Corporate? Why is it only the one personal thing that was sent to me that she opened. Makes me wonder if she opens the cards that are sent along with flowers that people send me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nayabone View Post
The company I worked for, as a matter of policy, opened all mail before it was put into individual folders and delivered to the proper department. The mail was never opened and read, just cut open to make it easier for the recipient.
If you have anything you don't want read, don't receive it at your work place.
Wow. They think people are incapable of opening an envelope? Isn't that a bit ............... weird?

And obviously - again - duh on not sending personal things to yourself at your office. That's been stated half a dozen times. I did not ask her to do it. Did not know she was. She didn't have my home address.



As for the outcome, according to the HR Director it's her job to open all mail. Still doesn't answer why she only opens what she does, including personal stuff but not the corporate stuff. I don't get it. I don't care. It's not like what was in there was a secret. Just irks me I'm sure because it's her.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 06:25 PM
 
4,811 posts, read 10,030,377 times
Reputation: 4512
Quote:
The company I worked for, as a matter of policy, opened all mail before it was put into individual folders and delivered to the proper department. The mail was never opened and read, just cut open to make it easier for the recipient.
Quote:
Wow. They think people are incapable of opening an envelope? Isn't that a bit ............... weird?
Do they also stamp it? If so, that wouldn't be weird. Nor weird if they open everything to look for anything that needs to be date stamped. There could be some people in a company who never receive anything that needs a stamp and thus wouldn't be aware that most other people's mail is stamped.

If she's not doing it as a matter of routine or policy, that's definitely a problem. If she's not opening everything and she's supposed to, that's also a problem.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Up in the air
19,131 posts, read 12,237,751 times
Reputation: 15590
I can give my two cents as a shipping/receiving person (along with many other roles ) I am allowed by company policy to open and inspect every single piece of material that gets shipped to our company. Regardless of who it is sent to, I can open and inspect. I rarely do, though. Most of the time it's just tools, or parts, or personal items and I don't like violating privacy unless absolutely necessary.

Everyone at the company has personal stuff delivered to the company all the time, it's really hard to be home for a signature required delivery, so they just leave it up to me

As for regular USPS mail, it goes through our accounting office and if it's personal, our accountant will leave you a message before opening it. I get stuff all the time and don't mind if she opens it. Anything extremely personal gets delivered to my parents house. I don't trust our neighbor, he's stolen stuff from our mailbox before...so we only get junk delivered to our house.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 07:33 PM
 
4,811 posts, read 10,030,377 times
Reputation: 4512
Quote:
I am allowed by company policy
Hate to break it to you but it isn't the company that gives you this authorization. The privacy of mail is protected by federal law and no company policy can override it. Even with private shippers like Fedex, it is private property.

Like a lot of things, you can get away with what you are doing so long as no one complains, but if an employee objects and you don't heed their objection, they have every right to file an official complaint.

Last edited by kodaka; 03-07-2010 at 07:42 PM..
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Unread 03-08-2010, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
4,941 posts, read 9,129,421 times
Reputation: 5476
In my line of business, we're required to open and date/time stamp all incoming mail. I'm in the financial industry, which is heavily regulated. One of our audit items is incoming mail; it has to be initialed off on by a manager if it's client correspondence. There is no such thing as "personal" mail, in other words.

However, I'm sorry your secretary was so nosy. That's just wrong. If I didn't have to open every piece of mail we receive, I definitely wouldn't!
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Unread 03-08-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,864 posts, read 3,865,363 times
Reputation: 1576
Company policy required that all mail be opened, read, and then distributed where I used to work too. The only exception would be something that was clearly marked "personal and confidential". And even then it was expected that the item was work-related but of a confidential nature that wasn't to be read by anyone but the recipient (usually a personnel matter).

I recognize that you can't control what is sent to you, but frankly I don't know why anyone would send personal mail to someone at their work address anyway. I can understand having packages delivered there if the company allows that, but not personal mail. If one has no choice and has to send it to the work address, I think both sender and recipient should pretty much expect that it won't necessarily be treated as private.

Last edited by janetvj; 03-08-2010 at 09:21 AM..
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Unread 03-08-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Up in the air
19,131 posts, read 12,237,751 times
Reputation: 15590
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
Hate to break it to you but it isn't the company that gives you this authorization. The privacy of mail is protected by federal law and no company policy can override it. Even with private shippers like Fedex, it is private property.

Like a lot of things, you can get away with what you are doing so long as no one complains, but if an employee objects and you don't heed their objection, they have every right to file an official complaint.
Actually, there have been court cases that were in the businesses favor. If someone is using the business address to have correspondence delivered, it is assumed that it is company business and therefore the company has the right to open it and inspect it.

Especially considering I'm on an airport I am supposed to open and inspect every package before it's released as a precautionary measure. It's a homeland security/hazmat thing.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 12:29 PM
 
4,811 posts, read 10,030,377 times
Reputation: 4512
Quote:
Actually, there have been court cases that were in the businesses favor. If someone is using the business address to have correspondence delivered, it is assumed that it is company business and therefore the company has the right to open it and inspect it.

Especially considering I'm on an airport I am supposed to open and inspect every package before it's released as a precautionary measure. It's a homeland security/hazmat thing.
As I said eons ago, there are some jobs like first responders where employees can't have private mail delivered. I acknowledged this exception long before you posted, but for some reason you chose to ignore that. And you could hardly claim that your situation in any way relates to the OP who works in a hotel office.

Katz v. United States established the right to privacy regarding mail. The right is only relinquished when the mail is thrown out or when it is addressed to a third party. Addressed meaning the name on the envelope, not the street address. If it doesn't have the company's name on it, the company doesn't have the right to open it.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,864 posts, read 3,865,363 times
Reputation: 1576
Katz v. United States involved wire-tapping of a public telephone by the government. I'm not trying to start an argument, but how does the decision in that case support an argument that mail addressed to an individual at a business address is presumed to be private correspondence and/or that the recipient has any right to privacy with regards to that mail?

When I was working I very often received mail addressed to me personally at the business address with no reference to the name of my employer or my title. None of that mail was personal, yet there was no way of knowing that by looking at the envelope.
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