Pornography & Workplace Harassment

In the workplace, pornography in all forms is legal trouble, no matter the circumstances -- and in today's environment, even certain attempts by employers to correct the situation could be deemed negligent or insufficient.

A hostile workplace lawsuit (for example, porn on workplace computers or distributed in work-related e-mail) can be highly prejudicial against businesses or governmental organizations, especially if there was foreknowledge.  Even in cases in which employers knew about employees viewing or downloading pornography and actively objected to it in order to enforce their workplace policy against it, its mere presence can reflect poorly on employers should a case ever reach the courtroom.

Atlantic Data Forensics will help you to protect your company or clients in an efficient, confidential, and complete manner.

Recent rulings have further raised the potential for employers to be held liable for failing to properly investigate and prevent an employee from viewing or distributing pornography from an office computer network. 

In one such ruling, the court held that:

“An employer who is on notice that one of its employees is using a work place computer to access pornography...has a duty to investigate the employee’s activities and to take prompt and effective action to stop the unauthorized activity, lest it result in harm to innocent third parties.”

Similarly, it’s common knowledge that employers should maintain and distribute an anti-harassment policy that includes a clear procedure for the handling of complaints filed by employees should issues of harassment or discrimination arise.  All too frequently, however, employers overlook the importance of promptly investigating complaints of harassment and taking fast, appropriate, and well-documented action to correct the situation.

It doesn’t take much for what starts as perceived workplace humor to become a costly harassment suit if employers fail to perform a proper investigation.  Since your prompt and effective response to complaints can mitigate liability, it’s in your business’ best interest for you to create effective methods to investigate and resolve workplace complaints of harassment or discrimination. 

Atlantic Data Forensics often works with HR departments and general counsel to conduct computer forensics investigations into pornographic images found on workplace computers and harassment conducted through email, instant messaging, or social media. 

Our computer forensics and e-discovery experts will reconstruct the history of usage from the contents of a computer hard drive, including dates and times of key events, internet usage, and file downloading.  We can also recover deleted files.  And, we confidently back all our investigations up with professional expert witness testimony in depositions, hearings, and trials.  Call for a free consultation today.