Employer Had Duty to Prohibit Employee's Porn Surfing

Doe v. XYC Corp., 2005 WL 3527015 (N.J.Super.A.D. 2005)

In this case, an employee secretly videotaped and photographed his 10-year old daughter in the nude and transmitted the pictures over the Internet through a workplace computer. The employer's network administrator learned that the employee had been accessing what the supervisor believed were pornographic websites. However, he was instructed to discontinue monitoring the employee's internet usage because the employer had a policy prohibiting such monitoring. Upon learning of the publication of the pictures on the internet, the employee's daughter, through her mother, filed  suit against her father's employer, claiming that it failed to take appropriate action when it learned that her father was accessing internet pornography at work. The trial court granted the employer's motion for a summary judgment on the basis that the employee was not under the employer's control at the time the pictures were taken, and the employer had no duty to monitor the private communications of employees at work. The New Jersey Appellate Court reversed on the basis that the employer had the ability and right to monitor the employee's internet activities. It ruled that the employer  is liable because it knew or should have known that the employee was using the office computer to access child pornography.

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