Your Work E-mails Are Not Private . . . And Don’t Call Me “Night Ranger”

August 31, 2011

According to the Des Moines Register, three civil rights investigators at the Iowa Civil Rights Commission were  fired recently after an unrelated investigation uncovered thousands of offensive and gossip-filled e-mails between the three women. The e-mails frequently gossiped about co-workers and supervisors and included “nicknames” like “Roid Rage”, “Psycho”, “Homeless McGee”, “Stoned Intern” and “Rainman.”  Two supervisors were referred to as “Teen Wolf” and “Night Ranger.”

The three employees were denied unemployment. Administrative Law Judge James Timberland wrote that the emails, “made fun of and/or ridiculed obese people, gay, transgendered and/or transvestite people, elderly people, Wal-Mart customers, African-American men, white high school students, white men and white people generally.”

The Commission’s Executive Director, Beth Townsend (“Night Ranger”), testified at the unemployment hearing that the emails were so frequent she thought they may have taken up the majority of the workday, according to the Des Moines Register.

To read more and read some excerpts of the emails published go to this article.

E-mailing in the workplace is not a new problem, but it is a persistent one. So how do employers keep employees on their toes when it comes to personal e-mail and internet use, without invading privacy? Try,


pr,ti(internet e-mail electronic-communication /5 policy)


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