Retaliation for embarrasing the company president.

I work for a local company in the computer department. The Director of MIS and I performed a check of Internet access log files. The files show all the Internet addresses that have been visited by those with Internet access inside the company. During this check, we found a single computer was visiting an enormous number of pornographic websites. This abuse occurred over the course of several months and occupied a majority of the work day. During the subsequent investigation, it was discovered that the president of the company was the guilty party. The Director of MIS went to the owner of the company with the information, but nothing more than a verbal reprimand was issued. This lack of response angered the Director of MIS and in May 2000 he left the company.

When the Director left the company, the information about the Presidents activities were leaked to the workforce. I have been left to pick up all of the technical support work as I am the only person left in MIS. I was told yesterday by the President that I would be sent back into the factory to perform production work for 61/2 hours a day. With my supervisors abrupt departure, there is more work than ever to be done. I feel I am being punished (by being sent back to production) for the fact that I know of the Presidents Internet activity and its being made public. I also feel this is being done to pressure me to leave the company. I have never received any negative reviews or anything else that would make me feel this is motivated by my performance. There is more, but I want to keep this as short as possible.

My question is, do I have any legal recourse or am I a victim of company politics?

1 answer  |  asked Mar 15, 2001 8:29 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Embarrassing the boss may not be protected conduct

The short answer is that, in Ohio, you might have a claim if the retaliation jeopardizes established public policy. Without knowing more, I cannot point to established public policy prohibiting retaliation for embarrassing the company president. However, there may be more that you can tell me. Also, with internet and email privacy issues being on the forefront of everyone's mind, and with the prevailing view being that employees should not use the internet to watch porn at work and can get fired for doing so, you will probably find a sympathetic ear for your story of retaliation by the President when he had to play by the same rules.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Nov 28, 2000 1:12 PM [EST]

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