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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What Type of Apartment Do You Own?

      How you hold your residential apartment will have enormous legal consequences.  The three major ways of doing so is renting, as a co-op, or a condominium.  However, many people do not realize the differences between them.

            The most familiar one is renting.  A landlord rents one of his apartments to you pursuant to a written lease which sets forth the details of the landlord-tenant relationship. The tenant has no interest in or responsibilities for the common areas. In a multiple dwelling, the landlord is required to maintain not only the common areas by also the tenant’s apartment under a warranty of habitability and quiet enjoyment.  A landlord may be held liable even for damage caused to your apartment by another tenant.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Your Private Emails Can Be Read By Your Employer


Many people, like our former Secretary of State, consider their work e-mail as their own private lifeline to the outside world.  Crude jokes, funny stories about your bosses or put-downs of minorities are exchanged.  However, doing so can get you fired because your emails are not private. Your employer can read them and use them against you in any disciplinary proceedings.

A federal law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, prohibits the interception of email communications and accessing stored emails without authorization.  Unfortunately, these apparent protections are illusory for employees.  The courts have very narrowly interpreted the statute.  In the first instance, they have interpreted “interception” as being the simultaneous reading of an e-mail as it is being sent.  Reading an email already transmitted does not qualify.   As for stored emails, the law allows for searches by communication service providers.   If your email is stored on your employer’s email server, you are out of luck.  Generally, the courts have also held that employees have no reasonable expectation of privacy in their work computers.

Do not use your work computers for private communications.  Gmail and other servers are free and most of us have smart phone where we can read our emails and texts.  Don’t be another Hilary Clinton. 

Kim Steven Juhase, ESQ.
Partner, Novak Juhase & Stern

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