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Legal Tracker

Employer Reporting Employee Crimes

10/4/2018 | Did You Know


        Although employers generally have no duty to report criminal conduct by their employees, there are exceptions to that rule. With the continued intermingling of employer and employee-owned technology, it is becoming more common for employers to discover possible criminal conduct of their employees. An example: An employee uses a personal laptop to access remotely the employer’s computer network. The employee brings the laptop to the employer’s IT professional for technical assistance. The IT professional discovers child pornography on the employee’s laptop. The employer must report the employee under 18 U.S.C. § 2258A, a Federal law which requires any provider of “electronic communications service” or a “remote computing service” to report information about an employee’s suspected misconduct to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That law includes all businesses that provide email to employees, and its penalties for violations are severe. A New Jersey employer also was held liable to the wife of an employee where the employer was aware of the employee’s conduct involving the wife’s minor child but the employer took no action. Employers who allow the intermingling of personal and company-owned technology may not be obligated to search that technology, but must report misconduct when discovered.