Appeals Court to Review Porn-at-Workplace Case

Appeals Court to Review Porn-at-Workplace Case
Rhett Pardon
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court last week agreed to determine whether a $209,315 jury verdict was appropriate in a case that involved pornography in the workplace.

The University of Nevada at Reno appealed a verdict to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that awarded a former locksmith damages for the violation of his First Amendment rights.

A Reno jury in June awarded Charles Stricker Jr. after finding that his former boss, Rick Favre, retaliated against him after Stricker complained about pornographic pictures in his workplace.

Stricker said that while he was working in the university’s locksmith shop in 1999, he complained about calendars in the workplace that showed women in various stages of undress and about a “pornographic screen saver” placed on a computer he used.

He said both were eventually removed after repeated complaints, but he said that thereafter he was treated differently from other employees.

“The last straw was when a pornographic screen saver ended up on a computer I was assigned to use every day,” he said. “I complained and the attitude was, ‘if you don’t like it, you can find another job.’ I got fed up at that point.”

He filed suit in May 2003.

With the award, the jury also asked U.S. Magistrate Robert A. McQuaid Jr. to read a statement saying the university showed "gross disregard" for its own policies, taxpayers' money and Stricker's civil rights.

Attorney Jeffrey Dickerson, who represented Sticker, said the “filing is a frivolous pleading." He also said the amount of the judgment accrues interest at the rate of about $1,000 per month.