Your personal email account probably has a lot of banking and personal information you don’t want anyone to get their hands on. So how would you feel if your boss or former boss said, ‘I want to read that information.’ Do you have your own email account to them? It’s a question one woman had for Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

WSVN — How many email accounts do you have? One, two, five? Yahoska Reynoso had two, an email account for work and a hotmail account for herself.

Yahoska Chavarria Reynoso: “And I use it for personal information. Bank accounts and credit cards statements and other e-mails.”

Yahoska worked part-time for the association where she lived, a job she really liked.

Yahoska Chavarria Reynoso: “It was only three hours. “I live here, I didn’t spend money on gas or time, my baby was with me in the office and they accepted me with my baby.”

Yahoska’s work account sometimes had problems so once in a while she used her personal account to send work e-mails.

Yahoska Chavarria Reynoso: “Like when you attach something it’s harder to attach something. It’s more harder to do it in Gmail than Hotmail, that is why I prefer to use my email.”

Everything was great, notice the word was.

Yahoska Chavarria Reynoso: “It was nice. It was nice.”

After the association president quit, a new one took over.

Yahoska Chavarria Reynoso: “And after that my job as a secretary, they fired me.”

Then the association asked for the password for her work account and her personal email account.

Yahoska Chavarria Reynoso: “They said if I didn’t give them both email addresses with the passwords in 48 hours, it’s going to be like I’m stealing information from the office.”

Yahoska gave them her work account information then went into her personal account and forwarded all her work related emails. She would not give the association access to her personal emails.

Yahoska Chavarria Reynoso: “It’s my name. It’s under my name and I have personal information. It’s like somebody is requesting your bank account with your ID to get in the computer. Is something like that, it something privacy.”

The association’s lawyer was not satisfied. He wanted to see everything in her personal email account.

Yahoska Chavarria Reynoso: “I don’t know why. “I don’t know if they need something with my life or something else.”

Yahoska wants to do the right thing but doesn’t want to turn over her bank information to an association and their lawyer.

Yahoska Chavarria Reynoso: “Legally, I want to know if this is legal.”

Well Howard, can a former employer demand your personal email account including your password?

Howard Finkelstein: “They can access your work account and you have to turn over any work emails from your personal account, but you do not have to give them your password or give them access to your personal account.”

We contacted the association. Their lawyer sent us an email explaining why they felt they had right to Yahoska’s personal email account.

Yahoska then told us, even though she was not required to give them access to her personal account, she was tired of dealing with them and didn’t want to be bothered. So she gave the account information to the associations attorney. Howard says now they are on notice.

Howard Finkelstein: “The association intimidated Yahoska into giving them her personal email account. Now they need to be careful. If they do not protect her private and confidential information and someone gets it and defrauds her, financially they could be responsible.”

And to make sure her privacy isn’t comprised in the future, Yahowska is now using a different email account that the association cant access, an association that she actually did enjoy working for.

Yahoska Chavarria Reynoso:” I was happy and I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know, especially English fluency.”

Patrick Fraser: “I guess if you listen to residents complain, you probably learn a lot of new words. Odds are you have at least one personal email account and if a boss wants to read thru it and you say no way, the only way they could access it is to get a court order and it’s close to impossible to get a judge to order you to turn over you personal email information.

A boss getting a little too bossy? Want to access some personal solutions? Contact us and let us deliver the password to bring you peace of mind. With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser.

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