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Around one in seven office workers admit to sending raunchy emails to pals and colleagues at work.

In a survey by US outfit Vault, 14 per cent of the 1,000 staffers questioned said they forwarded sexually explicit or other 'improper' emails.

Another 13 per cent said they often received such emails at work, while 12 per cent said they sometimes got them.

"Because e-mail is so easy to use and seemingly anonymous (when it almost never is), employees are increasingly forwarding inappropriate messages at work," said Vault co-founder Mark Oldman.

"Employees must be aware that forwarding these e-mails can bring unwanted attention, reprimands, and in some cases, a pink slip."

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is mulling over legislation to let employees know if their bosses are reading their emails. Under the bill, employers would have to inform staff in writing if they intend to examine email or other electronic messages.

The bill would affect all companies with staff in Pennsylvania. Privacy expert Ken Segarnick described the proposed legislation as "a common sense measure that imposes a very modest burden on employers."

"It mandates honest communication between employer and employee - everyone benefits from this," he added. ®

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