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Can porn spam be concidered Sexual Harassment to employees?

By sostermann ·
We have a relatively new employee (manager) here who has recieved two or three pornagraphic spam e-mails in her inbox.

She has sent an e-mail to upper management stating

"This is now border line harassing! Some employees would consider this
sexual harassment."

We are doing what we can with our limited resources right now. We don't host our own e-mail servers, therefore rely mostly on the ISP's to filter to most obvious spam. To make matters worse we are using Outlook Express for now and rely heavily on e-mail for customer orders -- therefore we can't risk false positives in filtering spam. It's never been much of a problem before -- just a slight nuisance.

Nobody likes to get spam - I especially dislike pornagraphics spam. My qestion is: can the company be held liable for unsolicited e-mails in an employees inbox?

What do you think?

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Zip zippo nil

by Oz_Media In reply to False +

Okay a bit strong maybe. At firt there were maybe a half dozen a week (at first), after a ew weeks it was down to perhaps 2 or 3 a week, and those are easily checked each day and also help to create better heuristic scans as they are added or deleted fomr the black list.

A goo dsolution utilizes several scanning styles, Huristic on the entire email,then keyword chek, then address/rbl check but none of these is the SOLE reason for declarig email spam, a weight from each test is given, once the total weight of the email reaches and exceeds YOUR predetermined level, it will be considered spam. If you want most to flow through at first, set the levsl high and sl;owly reduce them as the system trains itself based on what you want or don't want.

Most systems are flawed in that they determine what you ewant, every company is different and allows/rejects different mail, it should be something YOU train and YOU tell it what is acceptable and what isn't.

$4000.00+ is not unreasonable for such a solution.

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If you have to check quaratine daily...

by mgordon In reply to Zip zippo nil

"those are easily checked each day".

If you have to check quarantine every day, what real improvement have you made? That was the strength of Brightmail. When I first installed it, its filter rate was about 90 percent effective, but zero false positive in the first 60,000 spams captured. After that I just dropped all spam into the bit bucket and never looked at quarantine again. Now THAT is productivity enhancing. Brightmail also has rules-based capture, and I suppose between the two you could hit a very high spam removal rate but you also increase the false positive rate -- you must decide how much disaster it is to lose important email. Postini is probably the best but it is expensive and, once again, imposes a requirement to review quarantine. The whole point of anti-spam is so you don't have to LOOK at it.

You declare the cost to be $4,000; but does that include your time on it? Brightmail is quite expensive, so is Postini. Administering Brightmail was trivial -- out of the box and into the server, done. End of story; instant 90 percent removal. No bodda me with tuning rules every day.

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yes so

by sasiv In reply to Not so

you could be a billionaire Oz, if you sold your spam filter for $50 a pop every company in the world would buy it.
but companies that actually use email to recieve sales enquiries cant afford to lose ANY possible sales because their spam filters are locked down so tight.
And i'd say not that many could afford to employ someone full time to check all incoming emails and remove the dirty ones.
staff members need to LISTERN to network admins and DELETE emails that they can obviously see are spam BEFORE opening them.
Can a company sue a staff member who infects them with a virus because they were stupid and opened an email attachment they know they shouldnt have?

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Yes so, read it this time

by Oz_Media In reply to yes so

Nobody is a full time spam deleter/scanner/ It is a system that neexds to be monitored and trained (hour a day max) for a few weeks, months until it is setup properly.

Nobody said you wouldn't get sales related email, I deployed it in a multinational sales office.

Yes the company can sue you, IF such a written company policy about opening such mail is applied. It is willful neglect of their equipment.

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by thestorys In reply to Fire her? No way.Let her ...

Try running her account via
http://www.bluebottle.net/

They require mails to be verified. This probably cuts down on most spammers who are generally lazy people who won't both with
going through the verification service.

There are other services.

Also there is mailwasher pro which allows you to stop a lot of spam. You have several options like this.

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HOW completely wrong you are

by Oz_Media In reply to

B: less trouble

But then instead of a lawsuit for exposing her to offensive email, now the lawsuit is for wrongful dismissal. In that latter case, she stands to win a lot more money. One to two years on her arse, eating bon bons with full pay at your company's expense.

How is that easier or less trouble?

Damn, it's a good thing you don't run a company, such a ridiculous mindset woul dsee you filing for bankruptcy in no time. That's not a management mindset, that's an armchair quarterback's attitude.

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Must be different in Oz, but here in Ohio ...

by Too Old For IT In reply to HOW completely wrong you ...

... you can be fired right now for no reason.

You get maybe six months of ? pay.

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First of all you are wrong:

by Oz_Media In reply to Must be different in Oz, ...

Secondly: No company would ever get away with firing me for no reason, I don't care what state you are in. Your company would be paying for my next vacation.

EDIT: You are referring to the implementation of "Employment-at-will". EAW does NOT allow for discharge due to sexual harassment claims, as it falls under sexual harrassment.

Have a read: http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/membersonly/employment.pdf

there's now ay a company would get away with firing someone complaining about sexual harrassment in the workplace. ALso, how many com[panies in Ohio STILL employ staff with no formal written contract? If there's a contract of employment, then there is no Employment-At-Will that they can look toward when letting someoe go.

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Dear Einstein

by RNR1995 In reply to First of all you are wron ...

Do you think they would put sexual harassment as the reason the girl was fired?
You are an employee at will. Your company CAN FIRE YOU FOR ANY REASON AT ANY TIME. In the USA good employees are valued, bad ones go away, it is that simple. We do not have stupid laws that guarantee jobs for POS employees.

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Liste to what you just said....Einstein, LOL!

by Oz_Media In reply to Dear Einstein

"Your company CAN FIRE YOU FOR ANY REASON AT ANY TIME."
They can make up a reason BUT it must be valid also. In most cases, companies have policies and must offer warning in writing several times befroe a final dismissal. In such cases (the vast majority as shown by the peers here) such policies are set in stone and adhered to like gospel. It makes it a little harder to fabricate a reason for dismissal without written and formal proof to support your claims.

You are SO close but not quite, you are right in that they do need a "REASON" to fire you, well said; but just ANY reason doesn't usually cut it. Any VALID reason would be more accurate.

Now befre you go rabling on about the Good Ole US of A and how f***ed up your employment system is, how your totally inadequate government allows and compels your companies to treat your citizens with no respect etc.

I have spent many hours in US courtrooms listening and following MANY cases or wrongful dismissal. So it DOES happen and it happens quite often in a nation who loves to sue for just about anything you can dream of, including a free ride through life.

Yes, many very large companies get nailed on a regular basis for wrongful dismissal, it's the people such as yourself that just layback and take it that help companies succeed in treating US citizens like sh*t. Your fellow patriots can thank you for being a complacent lamb that fears having a voice in the real world.

And NOBODY, NOBODY at ANYTIME said anything about guaranteeing jobs to POS employees...well except you of course.

If an accountant is hired and is then subject to offensive email subject lines, it is no different than the secretary being subject to two guys talking about p***y all day long. The company MUSt take measures to stop it, now if you consider that as a POS employee, then that explains why you are just another POS employee yourself, you don't have the brains to be a POS boss.

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