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Termination for viewing child porn

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in Human Resources

Q. Our company has a strict Internet-use policy. During the course of routine computer maintenance and observation, our third-party IT provider advised us that one of our employees had been viewing child pornography in violation of our policy. We immediately terminated that employee. Is there anything else we should do regarding this employee’s violation of our company’s policy?

A. Yes. Your company’s third-party IT provider is now under an obligation to report the employee to a local law enforcement agency or tip line. Specifically, effective Aug. 29, 2008, the Illinois General Assembly amended the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act to impose reporting obligations on “electronic and information technology equipment workers.”

The amendment defines such a worker as one who “in the scope and course of his or her employment or business installs, repairs, or otherwise services electronic and information technology equipment for a fee, except for those who work for telecommunications carriers or cooperatives.”

If such an IT worker discovers any depiction of child pornography, that worker or the worker’s employer shall immediately report the discovery to the local law enforcement agency or to the Cyber Tipline at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Such a worker who, in good faith, reports the discovery of child pornography is immune from liability for doing so.

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