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Dismissed Employee Viewed Pornographic Images On The Internet To Take His Mind Off Work Which He Was Finding Demanding

Published 12 Nov 2012

Mr Hiha was employed by Crane Distributors Ltd as a storeman.

He was provided with a Company computer for his job. He accessed pornography regularly over at least a 3 month period in working hours. He later said that this was to take his mind off work which was finding demanding. A fellow worker saw him looking at pornography and made a complaint to management.

CDL conducted an investigation, determined that his actions had amounted to serious misconduct and then dismissed Mr Hiha.

Mr Hiha appealed to the Employment Relations Authority, claiming that he was unjustifiably dismissed. Although Mr Hiha acknowledged that he had accessed pornography on the employer’s computer during work hours, he claimed that his actions did not amount to serious misconduct. He also claimed that other Employees had not been dismissed for similar conduct and also that the internet policy did not state what types of pornography could result in dismissal.

The Employment Relations Authority’s Determination:
The Authority viewed a report on his internet usage and found that the pornography viewed by Mr Hiha was "seriously offensive" and "destroyed the trust and confidence that the Employer had in Mr Hiha".

"Mr Hiha says he was not aware that his conduct could be regarded as serious misconduct despite what, he agreed, is set out in the code of conduct, employment agreement and internet email policy. I find this hard to believe," the Authority said. It found that the Company complied with all its obligations as a fair and reasonable Employer in dismissing Mr Hiha.

It found that the Company had conducted the dismissal in a procedurally fair manner.

Dismissal Justified.

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