No Unemployment for|Worker Who Viewed Porn

     (CN) – A city worker in Minnesota was properly denied unemployment benefits after he was fired for viewing pornography on city computers, even though there’s no city policy prohibiting that behavior, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled.

     Blayne Brisson worked for the city of Hewitt for seven years as a utility maintenance supervisor before he was fired in 2009.
      He got in trouble for throwing a box of bolts, frightening a clerk so much that she had to work in a different building. Also, a resident reported that Brisson was looking at pornography on his work computer.
     The resident said, “That made me mad. He was doing that on city time that we are paying for, and there was work yet to be done that he hadn’t completed.”
     Brisson admitted that he had viewed pornography after an investigator found more than 150 such images on his computer. He was fired.
     Brisson was denied unemployment benefits. He appealed the decision, but both the trial court and the state appeals court upheld the ruling of the administrative law judge, despite the lack of a city policy against the behavior and despite the fact that Brisson did not commit a crime.
     “Using an employer’s computer to open pornographic e-mail attachments and access pornographic websites is a serious violation of the standards of behavior that the employer has a right to reasonably expect from an employee, even if the employer has not adopted a policy that prohibits the conduct,” Judge Randolph Peterson wrote.

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