Porn in the public service puts HR managers on notice

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‘What makes women special?’, ‘Taliban Hooker’ and ‘A grandmother and her tattoos’ are not email titles most HR managers expect to come across in taxpayer-funded workplaces.

However, these are just three of a total of 66 emails that have been made public as examples of inappropriate Internet use within Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Obtained by QMI Agency and reported by the Toronto Star, the Internet use documentation includes a worrying warning that civil servants showed a ‘flagrant disregard’ for the rules.

The documents showed that two dozen civil servants within the public agency have been reprimanded by management over the past four years for inappropriate Internet use.

Despite the errant behaviour, only four civil servants from the justice department were suspended for 20 days, while one employee was fired for downloading and watching porn.

The civil servants, who are earning taxpayer funded salaries, engaged in practices such as using government email addresses to circulate erotic and pornographic material.

Another employee was reported as ‘literally spending his days’ viewing erotic material on his work computer, under the noses of oblivious human resources teams.

One employee at the Canada Border Services Agency reprimanded in 2010 used his work computer to try to get dates with women by sending sexual messages.

The Internet privileges of another government employee were stripped and his desk moved to be supervised after he spent five hours a day visiting and downloading pornography.

The revelations are expected to raise the porn consciousness of HR teams Canada-wide, who are increasingly being asked to handle instances of inappropriate Internet and email use.
  • Justin B. on 2014-08-25 12:32:16 PM

    Would pornography addiction become an accommodation issue? If someone is spending multiple hours a day viewing porn at work, it is an indicator there are deeper issues involved. Like other addictions, accommodation would have to be applied I would think. I would venture a guess that the EAP for the civil sector is fairly robust, so in these cases, it would be good for those employees to go see a counsellor who can help them through their addiction / unhealthy coping mechanisms.

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