Email Use

I. Policies Regarding Email
  1. The Electronic Mail ("E-mail") system provided by the County is the property of the County and is provided for the purpose of conducting County business. Users should not assume that E-mail messages and their attachments are secure or private. E-mail messages may be retrieved by anyone to whom you have given your password, to whom you have given E-mail access rights, or by anyone having access to your computer while you are logged into it.
  2. It is the policy of the County that any communication by E-mail should be drafted with the same care as a formal memorandum and should not contain informal remarks that might potentially be embarrassing to the sender, the receiver, the employees, or to the County, its elected officials or its residents. The contents of E-mail should not include anything that the sender would not want publicly disclosed.
  3. E-mail should not be used to discuss confidential or sensitive information relating to employees.
  4. E-mail should never contain offensive or harassing language or images. This prohibition includes the creation, display or transmission of sexually explicit images, cartoons, jokes, or messages, vulgarities, obscenities, sarcasm or exaggerations. Employees are strictly prohibited from sending E-mail messages of a harassing, intimidating, offensive or discriminatory nature.
  5. Individual users must be aware of and at all times comply with policies and procedures designed to prevent or limit potential County liability resulting from their use of the Internet. For that reason, all outgoing messages that do not reflect the official position of the County or Department must include the following disclaimer:

    "The opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the County of Westmoreland"

  6. Westmoreland County departments and employees that receive authorization to use the County’s E-Mail system will use this E-Mail for county business purposes only, with the exception of incidental and occasional personal use that does not interfere with County work responsibilities. E-mail used for personal communications should be kept to a minimum.
  7. E-mail users shall follow the "Acceptable Use Guidelines for Communication on the County Network Including E-Mail"; contained in this Policy.

II. Sanctions & Corrective Action
Auditing and Reporting
Employees are on notice that e-mail and computer files may be accessed at anytime by the systems administrator in the course of assuring policy adherence or upon request by the Commissioners, elected officials, judges or department heads. Your system and all of the material on it are the property of the County, not you the employee. See Policy #16 Ownership of Information.

Postings to any system should conform to the Acceptable Use Guidelines outlined in this Policy. County employees are encouraged to assist in the enforcement of these guidelines by promptly reporting violations to their supervisors or the Human Resources Department.

Corrective & Disciplinary Action
Abuse of e-mail and network privileges can result in disciplinary action ranging from a warning, a suspension of Network, E-Mail or Internet access, suspension from employment, or dismissal from County employment, depending on the circumstances of the incident.

In addition, criminal prosecution and civil liability may apply to actions outside the scope of an employee’s office or duties, and found to involve willful misconduct, actual malice, actual fraud or criminal violations of law.