BLR News

10/20/2003

Dirty Pictures, Red Faces

Old Saybrook, CT - Oct. 20, 2003 - Two out of three human resources professionals have found pornography on their employees' computers, and for a majority who've found such material it has happened more than once, according to an online poll conducted by HR.BLR.com.

Asked, "Have you ever found pornography on an employee's computer?" 43% of the participants said, "Yes, more than once," while 23% said, "Yes, once." The remaining 34% answered, "No."

The two sites drew a total of 474 votes in the poll, conducted the week of Oct. 6.

The results explain why a growing number of employers-worried about liability for their employees' computer activity-are turning to electronic monitoring. Yet employers also worry about violating their employees' privacy rights, according to Alexandra Gross, legal editor for Business & Legal Reports, the compliance publisher that operates HR.BLR.com.

"One of the most important things employers can do to protect themselves from privacy suits is to reduce employees' expectations of privacy in the first place," Gross says. "The best way to do that is to articulate a clear policy on electronic monitoring and computer use."

"That means putting the policy in writing, including it in the handbook, and posting it in visible locations, like a cafeteria bulletin board," Gross adds. "The policy should comply with whatever laws are applicable to the employer and be carried out in a nondiscriminatory manner. It should also make clear that e-mail and Internet access are the property of the employer, and that use of those resources should be for business purposes only."

About BLR
BLR is a nationally recognized publisher of understandable and affordable information on regulatory and legal compliance. Based in Old Saybrook, Conn., it publishes approximately 250 books, newsletters, booklets, and CD-ROM products serving professionals in human resources, safety and health, and environmental management. For more information and a free catalog, call 1-800-727-5257 or visit www.BLR.com.


Contacts: HR.BLR.com Editor Kevin Flood
kflood@BLR.com
860 510-0100 x 2283

BLR Legal Editor Alexandra Gross
agross@blr.com
860 510-0100 x 2270