Prescient Judge Realizes Employee Net Surfing Not A Big Deal

from the good-judgment-from-a-judge dept

Over the years, there’s been a lot of fussing about employees using the internet at work, and how much of a problem it is, if it’s even one at all. Studies — as well as common sense — suggest that employees are capable of taking breaks and attending to some personal things, then getting back to work without much of a productivity loss. A New York judge seems to agree, ruling that a state employee can’t be fired for using the internet at work. In a surprising display of reason, the judge stated, “It should be observed that the Internet has become the modern equivalent of a telephone or a daily newspaper, providing a combination of communication and information that most employees use as frequently in their personal lives as for their work.” Again, common sense suggests that if an employee’s online behavior is having a negative impact on their work, that’s what warrants action, not the use of the internet itself. So will the employee fired by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for playing solitaire at work have legal recourse based on this ruling?


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Comments on “Prescient Judge Realizes Employee Net Surfing Not A Big Deal”

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9 Comments
Anonymous Bum (user link) says:

Finally....

A judge that understands technology. Read that back to me….

“It should be observed that the Internet has become the modern equivalent of a telephone or a daily newspaper, providing a combination of communication and information that most employees use as frequently in their personal lives as for their work.”

Yes, and because so I was able to be first on this post.

Aaron says:

Saw this earlier today...

…and I swear when I read this part:

“It should be observed that the Internet has become the modern equivalent of a telephone or a daily newspaper, providing a combination of communication and information”

I thought Mike was starting a second career as a judge. It just sounds exactly like something I thought I would only read at Techdirt. Makes you wonder if the judge is a reader. 🙂

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

He firing wasn't really tech-related

The fired employee was specifically told by his employer to not access the internet for non-business purposes and yet continued to do so.

If your boss tells you not to use the phone for personal calls, and not to read the newspaper at your desk – then you shouldn’t do either of those activities on company time.

Plain and simple – if your boss tells you not to do something and you do it anyways – you deserve to be fired.

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