Is it legal for my employer to open mail addressed to me?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal for my employer to open mail addressed to me?

My employer or other executive opens all the mail that comes to the office. If

they are not in, 1 of 2 other staff do it – the manager level and a staff member. They have even opened mail that was marked confidential that was addressed

directly to someone. This aggravates all the employees of all levels. The employer knows this but still continues the practice. I was wondering if we had any legal ground to stand on.

Asked on June 29, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If mail is sent to at work, then yes, your employer can open it. Since it is being sent to work, it is going through the office mail room, etc. which gives your compny the right to open the it. This is the same as you employer having the right to monitor your email on a company server or your  website viewing on the company internet.Additionally, if it's going to you at work, your employer could reasonably believe it is business related mail. And a company can obviouly open business mail. Bottom line, going forward, don't have your personal mail sent to the office.

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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