Australian Agency Says Employees Can't Get Fired for Watching Porn

Sep 4, 2013 2:30 PM PST

MELBOURNE, Australia — Australian industrial tribunal Fair Work has declared that employers cannot “automatically sack” workers caught viewing or sending porn while on the job.

The decision trails the controversial firing of three Victorian postal workers who used their work’s email system to send sexually themed material to one another.

When Fair Work investigated the incident, they found that the material in question was rather benign, consisting mostly of softcore content.

The tribunal’s Deputy President Michael Lawler and Commissioner Anna Lee Cribb issued a statement that determined it was unlawful to sack someone simply for distributing porn.

Employers are now expected to treat the distribution of porn in office like any other “form of misconduct,” warranting the same type of disciplinary action.

Fair Work’s report also pointed out that the employees weren’t aware of the company’s zero-tolerance porn policy, as the employees had been distributing porn for years. The Australian Post found the offending material only because they implemented a new filtering system on their computers.     

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