Home > News > Firing Ruled Justified After Employer Finds Porn on Laptop • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Firing Ruled Justified After Employer Finds Porn on Laptop

Get XBIZ News
May 18, 2004 11:05 AM PDT    Text size: 
PITTSBURGH – A court has ruled that the use of an employer's laptop to download pornographic material violates the employer's computer-use policy even where those downloads may have taken place off-premises and after working hours.

The case involves Edward Burchell Jr., a computer programmer who was employed by the University of Pittsburgh and later fired for the discovery of porn movies on his laptop.

Burchell applied for unemployment benefits and was subsequently denied by a unemployment compensation panel. He later turned to the courts after several appeals.

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled April 29 against Burchell, deciding that employers that have policies which prohibit employees from using employer’s computers “for the creation, design, manufacture, preparation, display, or distribution of any written or graphic obscene material” can terminate workers who break their rules.

Burchell contended that the unemployment compensation panel erred in concluding that he committed “willful misconduct” because the employer presented no evidence to establish that he downloaded or viewed pornography while at work.

Burchell also argued that while a workplace rule forbidding the viewing of porn at work is reasonable, the same policy becomes unreasonable if it is extended to conduct occurring off the employer’s premises when the employee is not working and, therefore, it cannot support a finding of willful misconduct.

He also denied downloading the material to the laptop as well as ownership of a CD containing porn.

The court, however, said Burchell’s arguments lacked merit, and cited a Pennsylvania Supreme Court case that held actions constituting a deliberate violation of the employer’s rules is reason for discharge.

The case is Burchell vs. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 2004 ILRWeb (P&F) 1671 [Pennsylvania Commonwealth, 2004].

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


E-Stim Basics: Selling Customers on Powerboxes as Pleasure Tools

Electrosex is a commonly misunderstood pleasure practice for good reason: Most of us have negative associations with electricity; maybe we’ve been shocked after rubbing our feet across a carpeted... More »

Search Oftentimes Is Left to Chance

Adult content is frowned upon in search, whether in paid, organic or social. With the big algo updates from the past few years, Google has cleaned up search, trying to get rid of spammy and low-quality... More »

Five Tips to Generate Repeat Business

A $50 sale is great. But what if you could get that same $50 sale to come back four times in the next few months? Here are some ideas how to achieve that. 1) On your receipts, you should have an option... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.


XBIZ 2017

Jan 09 - Jan 13
Hollywood, CA

XBIZ Awards 2017

Jan 12 - Jan 12
Los Angeles, CA

ANME Founders Show

Jan 14 - Jan 15
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport

Everything To Do With Sex Show

Jan 20 - Jan 22
Montréal, Québec
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!