Man fired for downloading porn to be re-hired

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

An Australian employee commission has ordered NCR Australia to re-hire a man that was fired for downloading porn to his work computer. Mr. Budlong, an employee for 31 years, was fired last year after 175 pornographic images were found on his work laptop. The New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) ruled the firing was illegal because yearly Internet 'Code of Conduct' agreements signed by Budlong were too automatic to be binding.

One-time or annual Internet browsing agreements - where employees agree to what can or can't be browsed - are common in large organizations. The IRC believes that the agreements cannot be enforced because they require, "a degree of mechanical, unthinking routine" from the employees.

NCR also argued that Budlong should have been fired because of the company's zero tolerance against pornography. The commission disagreed because it could not find any such written policy.