Email is a wonderful tool. It’s so convenient to be able to open your email service, shoot out a quick note and not worry about how long it will take someone to receive it. Email is the preferred method of communication for most businesses, because it provides an automatic paper trail for any situation that may come up. That’s important to keep in mind, since email can also get you into some serious hot water. Here are a few emails that you should never send.
Emails About Firing People
You may have an employee that makes you crazy, but you should never, under any circumstances, put that in an email. As long as you aren’t violating the law, you should be covered, and you can terminate an employee at will. So don’t fall into the temptation to email an employee’s supervisor to ask them to dig up dirt on a specific person. Remember, emails are all discoverable in court, so you don’t want to provide a potential lawsuit with anything that could come back to bite you. If you have some concerns about a certain candidate, make sure you’re following all laws, so you know you’ll be protected should the worst happen.
Comments About New Employees
Have you seen that new employee? She/he is so attractive. That comment seems totally harmless and a simple way to bond with your coworkers. But what happens if you accidentally send that email to the wrong person, or what happens if the person you did send it to leaks it out? That email is not going to be so fun when a sexual harassment claim comes forward, and your email is brought out as evidence. Keep it smart and keep it off email.
Disparaging Emails About Candidates
Emails are discoverable in a lawsuit, which means you need to be especially careful with what you put in an email. Never email something that could even hint at landing your company in trouble. Following an interview, you may be tempted to email your co-worker with something disparaging, but resist that temptation. If you’ve just completed an interview with someone, and you need to vent, take it offline and grab a cup of coffee or talk about it over the water cooler. Just keep those comments out of print and offline.
This article was written by Deborah Flomberg for Small Business Pulse