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Business Ethics

Weather you're and employer or an employee you should know what your rights are when it comes to Internet use in the workplace. Mark Grossman a Florida attorney who specializes in computer and Internet law gives answers to some basic questions.

Scenario 1
Nobody told you that your Internet use in the office was being monitored. Now you've been warned you'll be fired if you use the Internet for recreational surfing again. What are your rights?

Bottom Line.
When you're using your office computer you have virtually no rights. You'd have a tough time convincing a court that the boss invaded your privacy by monitoring your use of the company PC on company time. You should probably be grateful you got a warning.

Scenario 2
Your employees are abusing their Internet privileges but you don't have an Internet usage policy. What do you do?

Bottom Line.
Although the law isn't fully developed in this area courts are taking a straightforward approach: If it's a company computer the company can control the way it's used. You don't need an Internet usage policy to prevent inappropriate use of your company computers. To protect yourself in the future distribute an Internet policy to your employees as soon as possible.

Scenario 3
Employee John Doe downloads adult material to his PC at work and employee Jane smith sees it. Smith then proceeds to sue the company for sexual harassment. As the employer are you liable?

Bottom Line.
Whether it comes from the Internet or from a magazine adult material simply has no place in the office. So Smith could certainly sue the company for making her work in a sexually hostile environment. The best defense is for the company to have an Internet usage policy that prohibits visits to adult sites. (Of course you have to follow through. If someone is looking at adult material in the office you must at least send the offending employee a written reprimand.) If the company lacks a strict Internet policy though Smith could prevail in court.

Ethical Questions

A. Do you agree with the advice of attorney Mark Grossman in each of the scenarios? Why or why not?

B. What would your advice be? Explain your positions.

C. Identify any ethical philosophies values or models you may be using in explaining your position in each of the scenarios.

Solution Preview

Ethical Questions

A. Do you agree with the advice of attorney Mark Grossman in each of the scenarios? Why or why not?

I agree with Mark Grossman on each of the scenarios. Here are my reasons for doing so with each of them. In Scenario one, he makes a good point that a person has no rights when it comes to internet usage at work, especially for recreational surfing. The best a company can do in this scenario is to give them a warning, and then after that let them go. With scenario two, an internet usage policy needs to be in place. This will help protect the company if employees should abuse this policy. In regards to the last scenario, a person who downloads inappropriate material and no internet usage policy is available, then they can win ...

Solution Summary

This solution provided reasons on why ethics is important in an organization as well as advice to handle the scenario provided.

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