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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Bum, 24 Apr 2006 @ 12:24pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2006 @ 1:36pm

    and I second.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DreadedOne509, 24 Apr 2006 @ 1:40pm

    I'm at work, for the government no less. It's either this or a nap, they can take their pick.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pongidae, 24 Apr 2006 @ 2:02pm

    How funny ...

    so am I (at work for the government, that is).
    Doesn't it just make sense that with our work spilling over into our personal time that our personal lives would mingle with our work time?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Aaron, 24 Apr 2006 @ 2:08pm

    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. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Starky, 24 Apr 2006 @ 3:22pm

    THANK YOU!

    Thank God! Finally a judge with common sense and understanding of technology! I thought that common sense had become extinct in the legal system!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2006 @ 3:53pm

    Solution

    Mandatory 15 minute breaks every 2 hours like restaurant workers get. That'll teach the bosses.

    Also, if a company downsizes an employee, then it has to provide 2 years severance pay. Also, the company cannot lower an employee's salary.

    Communism is looking better each day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 25 Apr 2006 @ 11:09am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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