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Wide White: You can surf the web at work

Monday, April 24, 2006

You can surf the web at work

This is sad.
Judge: Web-Surfing Worker Can't Be Fired

NEW YORK (AP) -- Saying surfing the web is equivalent to reading a newspaper or talking on the phone, an administrative law judge has suggested that only a reprimand is appropriate as punishment for a city worker accused of failing to heed warnings to stay off the Internet.

Administrative Law Judge John Spooner reached his decision in the case of Toquir Choudhri, a 14-year veteran of the Department of Education who had been accused of ignoring supervisors who told him to stop browsing the Internet at work.

The ruling came after Mayor Michael Bloomberg fired a worker in the city's legislative office in Albany earlier this year after he saw the man playing a game of solitaire on his computer.

In his decision, Spooner wrote: "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."

He added: "For this reason, city agencies permit workers to use a telephone for personal calls, so long as this does not interfere with their overall work performance. Many agencies apply the same standard to the use of the Internet for personal purposes."

Spooner dispensed the lightest possible punishment on Choudhri, a reprimand, after a search of Choudhri's computer files revealed he had visited several news and travel sites.
Honestly, I don't disagree with the judge's opinion that surfing the web is no different than reading a newspaper. But if the employer bars the employee from doing it, the employee shouldn't do it. Period. No matter what a judge thinks is its equivalent.

The employer has the discretion to allow smoking breaks while barring surfing the web. Do I agree with that kind of judgment from an employer? Nope.

But I'm not the employer. I'm the employee.

Too bad the judicial system doesn't understand that concept.

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Blogger Stephanie declared,

I've always wondered how so many people who work full-time can still manage to blog more than I do...

4/25/2006 2:11 PM  

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