The trial court dismissed the lawsuit, but on appeal the New Jersey appellate division reversed that decision. An "employer who is on notice that one of its employees is using a workplace computer to access pornography, possibly child pornography, has a duty to investigate the employee’s activities and to take prompt and effective action to stop the unauthorized activity," according to a recent New Jersey appellate court decision. Should the employer fail to investigate under such circumstances, the employer could be liable to a person subsequently victimized by the employee. Doe v. XYC Corp., N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., No. A-2909-04T2 (12/27/05).
Impact: This decision imposes an expansive duty upon an employer, beyond simply investigating and stopping inappropriate Internet activities at work, specifically in reference to viewing child pornography. Not only must an employer investigate, it may be under obligation to report improper Internet use to authorities.The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
Workforce Management, January 30, 2006, p. 7 -- Subscribe Now!