Feb 12, 2007

The potential for messy and costly e-crises is huge

Electronic disasters can ruin businesses, sink careers, send stock prices plummeting, and create public relations nightmares.

Don't let an "e-disaster" catch you off guard. For responsible organizations operating in the age of electronic communication and commerce, a written "e-policy" is an essential and savy business tool.

An "e-policy" that is well-written and effectively communicated to all employees is one of the best ways for employers to protect themselves from workplace lawsuits and other risks associated with the inappropriate use of corporate software, e-mail, and Internet systems.

Inappropriate e-mail can trigger workplace lawsuits claims. If a former employee subpoenas company e-mail in the course of a wrongful termination lawsuit, your organization could face a lengthy and expensive search for back-up e-mail messages.

In one case, a Fortune 500 company was ordered by a court to turn over any e-mail that mentioned the name of a former employee who was suing the company for improper termination.

With no policy in place for purging e-mail, the company faced the prospect of searching more than 20,000 back-up tapes, containing millions of messages, at a cost of $1,000 per tape. Total potential cost for that electronic search: $20 million.

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