Porn at work is misconduct, even without a rule against it — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Porn at work is misconduct, even without a rule against it

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Give some employees an inch and they’ll take a mile. They stubbornly insist on pushing the rules and argue that if the handbook doesn’t say something is prohibited, then it must be OK.

Fortunately, courts don’t often agree.

Recent case: Hewitt municipal employee Blayne Brisson was fired from his job as a utility maintenance supervisor after a taxpayer observed him viewing pornography on his government computer. The agency Brisson worked for investigated and then fired him.

He argued he had done nothing wrong because there was no specific rule against downloading porn at work. He applied for unemployment.

The court refused to authorize the benefits, reasoning that even without a specific prohibition, viewing porn at work was misconduct. (Brisson v. City of Hewitt, No. A10-351, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2010)

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