Our company recognizes that use of technology, Internet and e-mail has many benefits and can make workplace production and communication more efficient and effective. Therefore, employees are encouraged to use the Internet and e-mail systems appropriately. Unacceptable use of The Company’s resources, Internet and e-mail can place The Company and others at risk. This policy outlines the company’s guidelines for acceptable use of technology resources, Internet and e-mail.
This policy must be followed in conjunction with other The Company policies governing appropriate workplace conduct and behavior. The Company complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws as they concern the employer/employee relationship, and nothing contained herein should be construed to violate any of the rights or responsibilities contained in such laws.
The Company has established the following guidelines for employee use of the company’s technology resources and communications networks, including the Internet and e-mail, in an appropriate, ethical and professional manner.
- All technology provided by The Company, including computer systems, communications networks, company-related work records and other information stored electronically, is the property of the company and not the employee. In general, use of the company’s technology systems and electronic communications should be job-related and not for personal convenience.
- Employees may not use The Company’s Internet, e-mail or other electronic communications to transmit, retrieve or store any communications or other content of a defamatory, discriminatory, harassing or pornographic nature. No messages with derogatory or inflammatory remarks about an individual’s race, age, disability, religion, national origin, physical attributes or sexual preference may be transmitted. Harassment of any kind is prohibited.
- Disparaging, abusive, profane or offensive language; materials that might adversely or negatively reflect on The Company or be contrary to its legitimate business interests; and any illegal activities—including piracy, cracking, extortion, blackmail, copyright infringement and unauthorized access to any computers on the Internet or e-mail—are forbidden.
- Copyrighted materials belonging to entities other than The Company may not be transmitted by employees on the company’s network without permission of the copyright holder. Employees must respect all copyrights and may not copy, retrieve, modify or forward copyrighted materials, except with permission or as a single copy for reference only. Saving copyright-protected information to a network drive without permission is prohibited. Sharing the URL (uniform resource locator or “address”) of an Internet site with other interested persons for business reasons is permitted.
- Employees may not use the system in a way that disrupts its use by others. This includes sending or receiving excessive numbers of large files and “spamming” (sending e-mail to thousands of users.)
- To prevent contamination of The Company technology and communications equipment and systems by harmful computer viruses, downloaded files should be checked for possible infection through the IT department. Also, given that many browser add-on packages (called “plug-ins”) may not be compatible with other programs and may cause problems for the systems, downloading plug-ins is prohibited without prior permission from IT.
- Every employee of The Company is responsible for the content of all text, audio or image files that he or she places or sends over the company’s Internet and e-mail systems. No e-mail or other electronic communications may be sent that hide the identity of the sender or represent the sender as someone else. The Company’s corporate identity is attached to all outgoing e-mail communications, which should reflect corporate values and appropriate workplace language and conduct.
- E-mail and other electronic communications transmitted by The Company equipment, systems and networks are not private or confidential, and they are the property of the company. Therefore, The Company reserves the right to examine, monitor and regulate e-mail and other electronic communications, directories, files and all other content, including Internet use, transmitted by or stored in its technology systems, whether onsite or offsite.
- Internal and external e-mail, voice mail, and text messages are considered business records and may be subject to discovery in the event of litigation. Employees must be aware of this possibility when communicating electronically within and outside the company.
- Company resources must never be utilized for personal use, use by non-employees or anyone not specifically approved in writing by the Security Review Panel.
The Company’s Right to Monitor and Consequences for Misuse
All company-supplied technology, including computer systems, equipment and company-related work records, belongs to The Company and not to the employee user. Employees understand the company routinely monitors use patterns, and employees should observe appropriate workplace discretion in their use and maintenance of such company property.
Because all the computer systems and software, as well as e-mail and Internet connections, are the property of The Company, all company policies apply to their use and are in effect at all times. Any employee who abuses the company-provided access to e-mail, the Internet, or other electronic communications or networks, including social media, may be denied future access, and, if appropriate, be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, within the limitations of any applicable federal, state or local laws.
Questions Regarding the Use of The Company Technology
If you have questions regarding the appropriate use of The Company electronic communications equipment or systems, including e-mail and the Internet, please contact your supervisor, manager or the IT department.