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Opening Mail

3032 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  CampusOfficer
Does anyone know if there is a law about opening someone else's mail? Specifically, everytime I receive mail at one of my places of employment it has already been opened. I did a search of the USPS website, but couldn't find anything specific to reference it. Any help is appreciated.
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The preceding Anthrax scare has caused some concern for employers,
but it doesn't look like it has unfavorably affected the
employee's right to USPS mail privacy, even in the workplace.

Some Case Law for you :
1. "Similarly, under Pennsylvania privacy law,
an employer is not authorized to open mail
addressed to a person at his workplace
which appears to be personal."
See Doe v. Kohn Nast & Graf, P.C., 866
F. Supp. 190, 195 (E.D.Pa. 1994).

2. "Despite the present terrorist threat,
employers should be aware that state criminal and
privacy laws may proscribe certain inspections
where mail addressed to an employee, even though
received at the workplace, appears to be of a personal
nature. In New York, for example, although employees
have no general right to privacy in the workplace,
the Penal Law provides that it is a misdemeanor to open
or read a "sealed letter or other private communication
without the consent of the sender or intended recipient.""
See Howell v. New York Post Co., 81 N.Y.2d 115
(1993); N.Y. Penal Law § 250.25(1).

3. "A letter sent by first class mail is afforded a high level of protection
against unauthorized opening by a combination of constitutional provisions,
case law, and U.S. Postal Service statutes and regulations . . . .
But there are no comparable Federal statutory provisions to protect
the privacy and security of communications transmitted by new non-common
carrier communications services or new forms of telecommunications
and computer technology."
Id. at 5, reprinted in 1986 U.S.C.C.A.N. at 3559.

I think USPS mail is pretty well protected as far as privacy goes.
e-Mail is another story. No "Right to Privacy" exists and I think
it has been challenged and defeated several times.

Hope you find the nosey little punk. :up_yours:
Have a great weekend, KK :t:
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