Q&A: Porn on an employees computer?

Listen to this episode

Question:


We have found pornography on an employee’s computer. How should we handle this? And, is an employee’s addiction to pornography protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Answer:


An addiction to pornography is not protected because under the ADA, it is not defined as a disability. According to ADA, the term disability does not include:

  • Transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders;
  • Compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania; or
  • Psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.

However, even if pornography qualified as a disability under ADA, an employer is not prevented from disciplining an employee with a disability for a violation of a company-established conduct rule. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), if the conduct rule is job-related and consistent with business necessity, then all employees – with and without disabilities – are held to the same standard.

As long as your conduct rules are consistent with both EEOC and ADA requirements, your policy is enforceable regardless of an employee’s disability. Therefore, if your company’s policy was violated, it would be appropriate to follow your company’s corrective action policy.

About the author, Rhamy

Rhamy grew up watching and working with his mother and grandmother in the seniors insurance market. This familiarity with the struggles faced by people trying to navigate the incredibly complicated and heavily regulated healthcare market led him to start Poplar Financial while working on his degree at the University of Memphis. After completing his MBA and Bachelors in Finance and Economics, Rhamy guided Poplar Financial through the disruptive opportunity that is the Affordable Care Act. Since then Poplar Financial has received numerous awards from major insurance carriers, and has completed its fourth year in a row of doubling in size. Now his team focuses on the processes around human resources, and specializes in providing companies with between 20 and 1000 employees with the payroll, benefits, and HR needs.

Leave a Comment