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IT manager fired for lunchtime Web surfing

Do not waste company resources -- or else, warns employer

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An IT manager has been sacked for surfing the Web during her lunch hour. Lois Franxhi lost her tribunal in Liverpool yesterday after her employer said she used the company's resources to scour the Net in search of cheap holidays. Franxhi maintained she was sacked by Focus Management Consultants in Cheshire because she told them she was pregnant. The tribunal heard how Franxhi used her office PC to make around 150 personal searches on the Net when she should have been working instead. But Franxhi claimed she surfed the Web for just 111 minutes over a four-day period -- the equivalent of just two lunch breaks, she said. "It's outrageous and unfair to be sacked for [surfing the Web] for such a small amount of time," Franxhi was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph. Believed to be the first case of its kind in the UK, the tribunal decided that Franxhi's personal use of her office computer made her guilty of misconduct. It was also revealed that she had been warned a few weeks earlier about the misuse of office stamps. Last month Rolls Royce sacked five people at its Bristol office for using its corporate network for sending "grossly offensive" hardcore porn. ®

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