UK: Brain food - Workplace rights - Untangling the legal web.

UK: Brain food - Workplace rights - Untangling the legal web. - The workplace has been radically transformed by employee access to e-mail and the internet. But employers are discovering that there are serious legal risks involved in letting their staff l

The workplace has been radically transformed by employee access to e-mail and the internet. But employers are discovering that there are serious legal risks involved in letting their staff loose on the information superhighway.

'Cyberliability' at work is a major growth area for lawyers. Pornography downloaded from the web, for example, can shock and offend if distributed - potentially leading to sexual harassment complaints. The same goes for e-mail harassment or bullying. One major US multinational recently had to pay £1.3 million in damages after a sexist joke was e-mailed to one of its female workers.

Employees may infringe copyright law, send out confidential information, commit libel and make commercial contracts via e-mail. A clear policy on internet use will make clear to staff where the boundaries are drawn and so minimise the employer's legal exposure. Why not start today?

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