Can You Charge An Employer With Sexual Harassment If They Don't Block Porn Spam?

from the questions-questions dept

It seems this question seems to come up every few years, with various journalists claiming that companies could be potentially liable in a sexual harassment suit if they fail to block out all porn spam. The latest such report does point out how problematic such an idea is, noting how it's basically impossible to perfectly filter out spam mail. However, what's still not clear is whether or not anyone has ever actually attempted to sue over this and how the courts have responded. So far, we just have half a decade of speculation from journalists without a well publicized case of it happening. It's certainly likely that some lawyer somewhere would file such a lawsuit, but it would be much more interesting to see how the courts responded. So, does anyone know of any actual cases filed over an issue such as this? If anything, it would seem that the company would have a pretty good defense in showing that they at least tried to protect the worker to a reasonable level -- and that the real harassment was the fault of the spammer, not the company.

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  1. identicon
    Randy, 11 Apr 2006 @ 7:59pm

    As long as the company has reasonable SPAM filters in place, there is no legal leg to stand on to sue. My company receives thousands of SPAM messages a day. Majority caught in my filter are for accounts that do not exist within the domain. There are a LOT of pr0n SPAM messages that get blocked. VERY few ever make it to ones inbox, however, if one does, the user knows to move it to a public folder where I can add it to the blacklist.

    A company is responsible for the environment of the workplace. Anything they have immediate control over. Someone having pr0n pictures on their workstation, making lewd comments, etc. This does not stop someone from making the comment if they want. If an employee harasses another employee, the company is required to take action. If they do NOT take appropriate action, then the company would lose a lawsuit. If they take proper action, nothing further can be expected of them. You cannot control someones free will. In the same aspect, SPAM pr0n can be controlled so much. If the company has a filter in place, that is apprpriate action. If a message gets through, but the company has procedures in place to add it to a blacklist or delete it, that is appropriate action. The company cannot be held liable for the actions of someone who does not work for their company that is sending SPAM pr0n messages.

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