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Dealing with Addiction in the Workplace

Lets say for instance that an assistant director used the agency's internet to pull up pornography and to solicit women for prostitution. This has been taking place for at least six months and has been occurring regularly at least three to four times a week. One day, the assistant director schedules an appointment with Human Resources and discloses that he has an addiction to pornography and a sexual disorder that contributes to his desire to engage in sexual behaviors with prostitutes and that he has been using the company equipment to support his addictions.

Do we terminate him? Do we call in the media and disclose this information? Do we refer him to EAP? How should we address this situation with the assistant director? Is a situation worse if we find out or if we are told? Should the manner in which this issue is addressed now differ?

Solution Preview

There are several issues here: the employee cites this as an addiction, which warrants he should be treated similar to a drug or alcohol addiction and cannot be terminated. However, since the employee was using company time and resources (the Internet) during the time he was being paid to work the company has the right to terminate him. It would be similar to someone spending his or her time on Facebook or shopping rather than working while at work. In contrast to drug or alcohol addiction, pornography has not been cited as a medical disorder. At issue is how the addiction is affecting the employee's ...

Solution Summary

This offers a solution to a case in which a worker is using the company internet to view pornography and solicit women. It discusses if employee should be terminated, if media should be alerted, and how to address the issue.