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Investigating Online Pornography Accessed On Company Computers

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in Human Resources

Policies on appropriate computer use prohibiting the viewing, sending, etc., of sexual material don't always stop employees from visiting such websites at work. Two recent cases highlight legal ways to investigate this policy violation.


Examine Computer Usage

A male respiratory therapist claimed the hospital where he worked investigated and fired him for accessing pornographic websites because of his gender; the hospital assumed he was guilty because he was the only man in his department. The hospital's investigation said otherwise.


First, the hospital began its investigation with the male employee because he was the one who was logged on to the computer during the time the sites were accessed. ("Quite sensible" and "hardly discriminatory," according to a federal appeals court.)


Second, the hospital did not rely solely on the fact that he was logged on when the sites were accessed. In practice, the first pe...(register to read more)

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