Ever notice that he quickly minimizes it and shields the screen? If he is viewing pornography in the workplace, you may be liable for more than you think. You also must take prompt and effective action to stop the activity lest innocent third parties be harmed.
Having fought for the rights of sexual harassment victims for almost twenty years, our Alachua County, Florida sexual harassment attorneys have learned that employers frequently fail to take appropriate corrective action to prevent the viewing of pornography in the workplace. Employers often refuse to take remedial action because they mistakenly believe that the viewing of pornography by employees at work, without more, does not constitute a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of Title VII. Taking this erroneous position to its logical extreme, employers further maintain that employees are not protected from retaliation by the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII when they make an internal complaint about pornography in the workplace because the conduct complained about is not sexual harassment.
This has created unique problems for employers, who are faced with making decisions about employees caught electronically accessing, storing or distributing pornography at work or on employer-owned devices. These cases are on the rise, and it seems to be those in which the pornography in question is of a legal or arguably non-offensive nature that are the most challenging. Many believe that immediate dismissal for just cause is warranted in any such situation.
This time, in Patane v. Clarkreleased today, the Second Circuit reversed an decision granting a motion to dismiss a claim of sexual harassment claim. The takeaway from the case today is that the mere presence of pornography in the workplace — even if never viewed directly by the plaintiff-employee — may be sufficient to state a claim of sexual harassment and that the District Court was wrong to dismiss such a claim without even allowing the parties to conduct discovery.
One employment law topic that never seems to go away is pornography in the workplace. When the issue invariably arises, I remember my first attorney job out of law school. I began working at a medium-sized law firm.
Possession of child pornography often involves a computer and is a serious crime. Before reporting suspected child pornography, it is absolutely critical employers make certain the material is actually child pornography. Further, the stigma of possessing child pornography certain to follow the accused and the potential negative publicity to an employer are also equally compelling reasons to be certain that the offending material rises to the statutory definition of child pornography.
November 13, Employers must have in place a strict policy regarding pornography in the workplace if they are to avoid legal action from sexual harassment and discrimination charges, according to a study by Craig Cameron of the Griffith University. Writing in the International Journal of Technology Policy and LawCameron identified five primary methods of what he refers to as pornography participation that require specific policies to protect both employer and employee in almost any jurisdiction.
Viewing or downloading pornography or sexually explicit material on work computers is almost always unacceptable. There are very few exceptions to the rule and in most cases, it can be considered gross misconduct. Some employers let employees occasionally use work computers for personal use, especially at lunch or rest breaks.
Official records released by the Palace of Westminster's IT chiefs suggest nearly"attempts to access websites categorised as pornography" were made from computers within parliament in the past year. The story raises a question about what happens if you are caught viewing a site your employer deems inappropriate. If MPs, peers and their staff really were trying to access that type of content, should there be repercussions?