Is it legal if I quit a job but my facebook account was logged into and my ex-employer used my private messages as a reason to fire other employees?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal if I quit a job but my facebook account was logged into and my ex-employer used my private messages as a reason to fire other employees?

I’m interested in knowing if I have some kind of case here. I left my job about a week ago and was told that the computer would be wiped after I left. My facebook page was logged into because I used it to easily transfer work photos and videos from the computer to my phone to put on social media for marketing purposes. I forgot to log out of this but didn’t think much of it, knowing they’d wipe the computer. However, instead of doing this, the employee in charge of wiping the hard drive went onto my facebook which wasn’t left in an open window, just logged in, went through my private messages, and then used those private messages to fire other employees. They said that they

Asked on December 3, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You probably can't sue your boss accessing this information, even if it was done without your consent. That is unless you had an employment contract/union agreement, etc. protecting your private social media accounts. Furthermore, if you were on Facebook on your company computer, your employer most likely could access your Facebook page. That is because legally employers typically have the right to monitor workers' web usage and to view the pages they are viewing. Bottom line, as a general rule, an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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