Canadian Employment Law Today
May 7, 2008

Worker spent as much time surfing porn sites as working

Japanese city employee demoted after spending 3+ hours a day for eight months surfing Internet porn sites
Spending hours every work day looking at Internet porn got a Japanese municipal worker demoted but he still has a job.

The 57-year-old worker was an employee in the construction division of Kinokawa City in western Japan. He began having frequent problems with his computer and required a virus removed by the city’s IT department. However, the same virus kept reappearing on his computer, which raised suspicions.

The city began monitoring the worker’s computer use in February 2008 and discovered he was spending at least three hours per day every day visiting pornographic Internet sites and he was picking up the virus from the sites.

The Internet browser’s history revealed this had been going on since June 2007 and he had racked up 780,000 hits on porn sites over the eight months. Despite the fact the city had a security net designed to block Internet sites with pornographic material, the worker found foreign sites that got through. No one noticed his activities because his desk was apart from other city employees.

The worker apologized but the city felt he couldn’t adequately explain his behaviour. The worker was suspended and demoted and received a pay cut of $190 Cdn a month. Despite public outcry, the city said it had no plans to fire the worker.