CMSWatch just reported on a recent ruling by the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco... essentially, they said that when an employer scanned their archives of old emails, snooping to see if their employees were doing anything naughty, that the company violated their 4th amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.
The ruling makes total sense... CMS Watch thinks the implications could be huge, but I disagree. Frankly, if this ruling stands it only means that employers will now make people sign a form that says this:
I consent to have my email archives scanned by my employer, in order to validate that I adhere to their email policy.
Done and done. If the prospective (or current) employee refuses to sign, then they either have something to hide, or they love liberty, dammit! Its just one more bogus piece of paper that everybody will sign before they can be hired. In previous jobs I had to sign something stating that I promise to abide by their network usage policy... this is just an addendum that says "and we're watching you, sucka!"
Whether that contract will stand up in court is matter for debate... especially if you use the word "sucka."