Email Disclaimers are added to an email to try to limit a company’s liability, but liability from what?
It has become increasingly common that when receiving emails from individuals at various types of organizations that there is an email disclaimer included at the bottom of the email. As electronic communications are becoming standard for business, confidential information is commonly sent via email. As this practice becomes more common, the likelihood of emails being sent by error increases. Email disclaimers are put in place to minimize a company’s liability in these situations.
One of the greatest liabilities that email disclaimers attempt to manage, is risk posed by employees. When an employee sends information via email through a company email address, they are acting as a representative of that company. As a result, the company is liable for what is communicated in that email and to whom it is sent, even if in error.
There are numerous instances where the error of an employee can lead to liability for a company. For example, email communications allow individuals to make representations and enter into contracts via email.
Another significant risk is that an email may be sent to an unintended recipient. This can lead to very serious consequences, especially with respect to a breach of confidentiality of the information contained in the email and privacy of the company.
Email Disclaimer example …
An extreme example of how risk of liability may be a highly important issue is where a lawyer is sending an advice but does so to another person. However, a more practical and common example is sending information from any company email address that contains information in regards to a client. If this is sent to another client or third party, this is a potential liability for the company. This issue is common and could be potentially problematic in any type of industry.
Related to this is an email that contains internal company information that has been accidentally sent to another party. Many people at one time or other make careless mistakes in emailing the wrong person, who may have a similar email address as the intended recipient, or by attaching an incorrect file.
Including an email disclaimer is a way for companies to try to limit their liability from actions of their employees, whether incorrect or careless.
It is a good idea for companies and also individuals that send any type of advice or confidential information or those who use email as a standard means to disseminate information about the company to include an email disclaimer as a standard in all of their correspondence.
By including an email disclaimer on all electronic communications may assist in safeguarding a company against a number of mishaps that could occur and substantially reduce both a company and an individual’s risk of liability.