You Can't Fire Me Because I'm Addicted To Sexually Explicit Chat Rooms!

from the and-now-you-owe-me-$5-million dept

We’ve had fun over the years joking about all of the random technology-related addictions psychologists seem addicted to creating. However, it looks like some workers are trying to use these classifications to their extreme advantage. A worker who was fired from an IBM research facility for accessing a chat room that included sexually explicit content during work hours on a work machine is suing the company, claiming that it needed to be more sensitive to his internet chat addiction, which he claims is a disability just like drug or alcohol addiction. He notes that IBM offers treatment programs for such things, but didn’t offer a treatment program for his internet chat addiction — which he claims is a form of “self-medication” to deal with post traumatic stress syndrome from his time in Vietnam. Oh, and of course, the firing added to his problems, which means he believes IBM should pay him $5 million for his troubles… all because he went into a chat room on work time and participated in sexually explicit talk for the sake of “self-medication.” Somehow, we think that IBM may succeed in its attempt to have this case dismissed.

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Comments on “You Can't Fire Me Because I'm Addicted To Sexually Explicit Chat Rooms!”

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SimplyGimp says:


If he were addicted to any illicit substances, he’d be canned and that would be that. Simply because it effects his job performance. Now he wants protection against being addicted to the chat rooms?

Screw that, if you don’t do your damn job, you’re fired. I wish us Americans had the work ethic of Japanese. We wouldn’t see this bullcrap come around, though we’d see more suicides!

Scheffy says:


So which is it: an addiction or self-medication? He’s “addicted” to chat rooms, but his form of self-medication for this addiction is chatting in chat rooms. And at work, no less. Isn’t it the general assumption that an addiction is to something that is affecting your well-being by getting too much of it or spending too much time doing it? So how does getting even more of it help the addiction?
So if this guy’s right, I can claim to be an alcoholic, then self-medicate myself by drinking more alcohol, and if i decide to go to a bar to get my “medication” during work hours I can’t get fired. Brilliant!

Baddog357 says:

I'm rich!!!

If this guy gets $5 mill for chatting in a sex room at work then I’m a fucking gizillionaire. Where do I get my check?

BTW SimplyGimp America is the largest producing nation in the world! Just because your company brainwashes you to believe that work is more important then family or your health doesn’t mean you have a good work ethic it just means your another mindless ant serving the queen.

Amerin says:

Does this make anyone else go hmmm

I been in many tech orientated workplaces, that block all kinds of internet based feed, from streaming music and video, chat rooms, IM’s, doesn;t it strike anyone as Odd, that Uptight IBM, would not have such things blocked?

I have found in most of these cases it was just some thing that that could be used as an excuse to fire this guy. we will never know the whole story…

Adam (user link) says:

Seinfeld or Drew Cary Episode

This would have made a great Seinfeld or Drew Carey episode.

Castanza could have been the one who decided to give it a try. Kramer would have come up with the idea and even be George’s lawyer (since even in TV Land no lawyer would represent such a proposterous case), Seinfeld would have been a witness (that George has some “problem”) meanwhile they’re tyring to keep this all hush hush from George’s parents.

I’m telling you this could have been great! Oh well… Seinfeld’s off the air, and so should this guy’s chances of making any money from this.


Anonymous Coward says:

Oh good grief. ADDICTIONS ARE NEITHER DISABILITIES NOR DISEASES, YOU MORONS!!! I fail to comprehend how our society actually wants to support idiots like this, who only drag us down into their morally-bankrupt lives.

If you work at a company, you have to agree to live by their rules. If you break the rules, you are subject to discipline, up to and including termination. Take it or leave it. Anybody with half a brain knows that it’s not ethically right by any standard to be on any non-work related chat rooms while at work. Nobody deserves to get paid for wasting time.

Anonymous Coward says:

haven’t there been studies that linked alcoholism to certain genes? and if that’s the case, is down’s syndrome a disease? that’a a genetic defect (just like alcoholism from the study) and it’s called a disease, so why no the alcoholism?

next, if employers allow workers to smoke (i.e. smoke breaks, smoking locations) why not allow for alcoholics to drink? sex addicts to have sex/porn chat? funny how you might say no to the sex/porn and alcohol, but would have no problem with the smoking. i’m not a smoker, and it sucks that i have to work a full shift, while smokers get 5 minutes every 1.5 hours they work (or else they get nic-fits) that’s not fair.

so why say one addiction is ok, but another is not? if they won’t let drinkers drink, and sexaddics do their thing, smokers should be banned too. equal treatment. that’s all.

DJ Twizted says:

Re: Re:

man are you retarded. You get the same breaks as those workers do too. YOU choose not to take them. And I believe YOU agree to the policy of no alcohol when working. Lets get toasted and tell our customer to fuck off then try to hug them in appology because wer are lit. I’m glad idiots like you don’t make the rules. Your logic of thinking is so skewed that you would probably bitch about child porn being ok next. Next time you have a comment you think is inteligent…don’t bother. Expecially if you can’t even put a name. Go lay by your dish moron.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

yeah, i’m retarded. good one. it’s not that i choose not to take breaks, it’s that i DON’T get them. because i don’t smoke, i don’t get breaks.

about blazing up and being stoned out of your mind talking to customers, WTF? i never mentioned illegal drugs. Alcohol is legal. Pornography is legal.

now, why are certain vices “ok in the workplace” while others aren’t? smoking is just as dangerous as drinking alcohol. porn can damage a company as quickly as drunkards answering the phone. come on…

i put a name, you dumbass. why don’t you leave an email? oh yeah, that’s right. you don’t want to be bothered. same here.

Paul says:

Employment Laws

Employers in California are required to give employees a certain amount of 10-15 minute breaks depending on their work shift. These breaks are when smokers are supposed to have their “smoke break” although I’ve worked at more than one establishment that gave smokers more breaks than they are supposed to have. These 10-15 minute breaks are when the “addict” can go endulge in whatever.

Does the company have a rule about no sex chat or porn on their machines? Better being a laptop.
Do they have a rule about no sex chat or porn being downloaded on their internet connection? Better get one of those cellphone-internet cards for the laptop.

If the guy was doing this on company time (not on a break) and the company had rules set against it then he should be fired. If he truly had a problem and he feels he needs special attention for it then he should have brought it up before his employers previously and made a case of it then, BEFORE he got fired for it.

DJ Twiztid says:

Most companies have a zero tolerance policy for graphic content. I worked for a major company that needed access to the internet for research. I fired many people for “endulging” or “self medicating” their perverted needs. It’s spelled out in the employee hand book and drilled in your skull during training. Only one fought me firing her for looking at porn during work hours. Yeah that’s right I said her. It was a simple open shut case. It was spelled out and I caught her looking at lesbian porn. Gawd that’s hott. But doesn’t make it right. Rules are there for the prudes of America to get their way. To bad I had to fire her…she was definitly eye candy. But I do agree with the company in this battle. You’re there to do a job. Chatting in a room while we are paying you for it does give you the right to get fired. We are paying these people to do the job we expect. Not get paid for screwing around. Speaking of which I need to get back to work before my boss get’s home. Damn midget porn is everywhere…anyone know how to delete from ie.5content folder?!

Just kidding. I love being the boss of an iT firm.

Anonymous Coward says:

pussy? is that what you come upw with? boy aren’t you a big boy? throwing around words like that. i bet you are one bad ass mofo, am i right?

having a cig in your hand or mouth is just as dangerous as a drunk on the job. there is possibility for accidents. (just a thought) also, i’ve seen smokers who complain more than working because they don’t have their smoke. nic-fits reduce productivity.

as for sarcasim, it’s hard to distinguish here in print. no other indicators to alarm that something might be offkey.

get your story straight pal.

i bet you have a huge harley and a huge truck, just to prove “you’re the man”

good job pal. i’ll enjoy my job, while you cry alone at night because no one loves you for “who you are”

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