Disciplinary Rules, Policies,
and Best Practices
When it comes to the enforcement of electronic rules and policies, strict disciplinary procedures can pay big dividends. Make an example of one e-policy violator today, and you may avoid firing an entire department tomorrow. In addition, your ability to walk into court and demonstrate a consistent pattern of policy enforcement may help bolster your defense should your organization one day become embroiled in litigation.
e-Policy Rule 47: Private employers in employment-at-will
states (which most states are) have the right to fire employees
for just about any reason2014including inappropriate computer
use2014as long as federal discrimination guidelines aren2019t violated.
Not all bosses fire users for e-mail and Internet violations. Some warn or reprimand offenders, others suspend computer privileges, and still others impose monetary fines. But the number of employers who have terminated employees for e-mail and Internet misuse grew signifi- cantly between 2001 and 2007. E-mail-related dismissals alone doubled during the six-year period, according to American Management Associa- tion and ePolicy Institute research.