Feeds

Dow Chemical sacks 50 over porn emails

'We're not talking about letters to mom' says company

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Dow Chemical has sacked 50 staff and disciplined another 200 over dirty sex emails sent from company computers.

The US chemical company said the action was taken "to protect our other employees." Material found included pornographic and violent images, AP reported.

"This sort of activity creates a harassment environment that we can't tolerate," said Eric Gates, a representative of Dow's Michigan Operations.

The move followed an investigation into the company's email system - sparked by a staff complaint in May.

According to Gates, the company is not in the habit of snooping at employee emails on a regular basis. But on the back of the complaint it decided to monitor all email use during a one week period in May.

Officials soon realised the problem was rampant, and ended up hauling staff at all levels into interviews. Those who had simply opened emails and deleted them were let off - but the company was more interested in those who downloaded, saved and distributed objectionable stuff. These faced suspension or the sack.

No illegal material was found, but the representative said: "We're not talking about personal use of the computers and letters to mom."

"There was a whole range of things, from mild pornography to very graphic pornography and some seriously violent images."

Suspended Dow workers had to agree to a special one-year probationary period. Those who refused were fired.

The action has already ruffled the feathers of a local union - The United Steelworkers of America local 12075 said it plans to investigate the firings.

But Dow remains unswayed - it says it distributed books setting out company policy to employees last March. These publications apparently warned that computer use for personal and objectionable subject matter was a hanging offence.

Last year the New York Times, Xerox and Rolls Royce all gave out P45s to workers accused of checking out offensive online material at work. ®

Related Story

Xerox fires 40 staff in porn site clampdown

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.