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Can my employer ask to read my text messages on my phone from a friend if my phone is a personal phone and not a company one?

Phoenix, AZ |

A friend was fired and texted me why he was being escorted out. To let me know he was fired for not doing his job right. Nothing illegal. The boss overheard from some one that I had got this text and wanted to know what was said. Was he even able to insist on knowing? Then a month later the friend is contesting being fired and they asked if I still had the text. wanting to see it. I didn't have it, but are they even able to ask for it or go through my texts on my phone?

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Attorney answers 1


Your employer can certainly ask. Without a court order, it is unlikely that your employer can force you to reveal it. On the other hand, in most states, including Arizona, your employer can fire you for "any reason" or no reason at all. "Any reason," however, is qualified by many factors -- you may not be fired for a reason that would violate your civil rights. If this issue becomes acute, you would be well advised to discuss it with an Arizona attorney who is experienced in the area of employment rights and wrongful termination. If you are a union member, you should also discuss this issue with your shop steward or other contact person, as may be appropriate.

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