James Pacenza, 58, says that the information technology company should have offered him sympathy and treatment over his online chat room addiction instead of firing him.
Consider the following statistics: · On average, a typical employee spends 21 hours per week online while at work—but only 9.5 hours per week at home.
· 30% to 40% of Internet use in the workplace is not business related.
He argues that his psychological problems have left him addicted to sex, especially adult internet chat rooms.
He was fired after a fellow employee at IBM told managers Pacenza was visiting such sites.
Even more recently, Twitter and instant messages have rapidly been integrated into the corporate world as an effective, immediate form of communication. In addition to concerns over the decrease in worker productivity (irony be thy name), employers are now facing potential liability for their employees’ improper use of technology.
The information superhighway is starting to look more like a traffic jam.
The bottom line is that companies must find a balance, establish an acceptable use policy governing communication and the internet, educate their workforce, explain when, where, how and why monitoring will take place, and enforce the rules.
Where no policy is in place and an employee carries out an illegal activity on a company network – from circulating offensive emails to breaching security, the employer is legally liable.
The stated reason was that he visited an internet chat site for a sexual experience after already being issued with a warning over his behaviour.