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Can an employee be disciplined who is sending or receiving porn at work?

Pornography3

One is amazed at the things that some employees do at work.

With many companies introducing free WiFi, many employees abuse this company perk that is meant to help them do their jobs better.

Recently, many cases have been seen where employers are complaining that employees are using free WiFi for things that have nothing to do with the job. This includes sending and receiving porn.

The question that follows these complaints is whether or not this is disciplinable conduct?

The answer to that question is simply, yes. An employer can take disciplinary action against an employee who sends or receives porn at work because this constitutes misconduct. It does not matter if the recipient had no objection to receiving the material.

The employer has every right to act in this case. The employer is entitled to expect its employees to use company assets for company purposes. It is not to the benefit of a company for its employee to use company PCs and the Internet to transmit pornographic material.

It must be borne in mind that the discipline depends on the employer’s policies and procedures.

What the employer can do

If, for example, the employer has policies and procedures that make it clear that it adopts a zero tolerance attitude towards the transmission of pornography or any undesirable electronic information, it can dismiss an employee for this offence. The employer must make sure that it follows a fair dismissal process, like holding a disciplinary enquiry.

If a decision is taken not to dismiss after the enquiry, a final written warning can be issued, especially if it is the employee’s first offence.

So, an employer can discipline an employee if he/she sends or receives porn at work. The employer’s policies and procedures must be clear so that employees know it does not tolerate this conduct.

P.S. The CCMA does not care why an employer has dismissed an employee… it only wants to know if the employer has dismissed him fairly… and if it was not done fairly, the employer could end up having to pay the employee up to 12 months’ salary.