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  • (01. January 2010., 10:27:49)












Author Topic: Turns Out It's Not Sex Discrimination To Get Fired For Looking At Porn Sites  (Read 1139 times)

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mike2009

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Eric Goldman alerts us to an appeals court ruling finding against a guy who claims that his firing was gender discrimination after the hospital he worked for found that he had been surfing porn and "hacking" sites. The guy's entire case seems like a huge stretch. In the department he worked for, there was one computer shared between 7 people, with this guy, David Farr, being the only guy. While each employee had a separate login, apparently whoever logged in first usually just stayed logged in all day. When it was discovered that a number of porn sites were listed in the favorites, the hospital did what sounds like a decently thorough investigation, and found it quite likely that it was Farr who visited the sites (one of the days the activity occurred was a Saturday where he was the only one there). He eventually admitted to visiting 17 of the 31 sites in question, but then later claimed that he had visited sites that installed malware on the computer that added the bookmarks to the porn sites. But then... when confronted again, admitted to visiting the 17 sites.

He claimed that it was gender discrimination, since he was the only guy, there was an automatic assumption that he had visited the porn sites. Yet, the court points out that (1) he failed to show that a female employee wouldn't have been treated in the same way and (2) the hospital was incredibly thorough in investigating the issue, especially after he denied visiting some of the sites. They didn't just jump to a conclusion and fire him, but apparently went into quite a lot of detail in making sure that he had actually been visiting those sites. On top of that, the court notes that his employment was at-will, so the hospital had every right to fire him. It's difficult to see how he thought a gender discrimination claim would get very far given that he admitted to visiting some of the sites, as well as the amount of investigation that was done by the hospital. But, these days, people seem to think that anything they don't like that happens to them must be against the law.

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