Thursday, December 11, 2008

Could unfiltered spam lead to hostile workplace complaints?

Toni Bowers has a message board question on Tech Republic, “Does offensive spam open us up to a lawsuit?” The link is here.

There was a question from a corporate manager with a subordinate whose offended by ab enail that got through a spam filter at work. The subordinate said that it verged on sexual harassment.

Generally, the answers suggested that an employer is OK if it makes a reasonable effort to filter most spam. They could consider implementing a challenge-response system.

A problem could occur if an employee posted on a public and searchable blog or website offensive comments about a minority group (or perceived group) that a coworker belongs to, as adding to a hostile workplace environment. That is one reason why employers need to consider blogging policies, even off work.

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