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Email prank not funny

Bullying & HarassmentAugust 14, 2014

Email prank not funny (Last Updated On: August 14, 2014)

A man working at an Adelaide prison has been rewarded with $100,000 compensation after a former colleague hacked his email account and sent a defamatory email to 1200 people. The contents of the email humiliated the man and as a result he experienced anxiety and shock. The email caused severe personal hurt and distress but it was alarmingly uncomfortable for the recipients also. The email was meant to be taken as a joke, it suggested that the man was homosexual and that he requested relations from the recipients.

Compensation was awarded for non-economic loss, medical expenses and loss of wages over the email. The accused hacker of defamation can sometimes use the defence of truth, but in this case, that defence would never have been successful given that the intention of the email was to “scandalise” the victim.

The employment relations question in this scenario is: can you legally dismiss somebody for sending an email from another person’s account? To ensure that you have control over your employee’s emails and your business’s IT systems and equipment, you must have policies and procedures in place. Employsure can implement safeguards and IT policies which protect employers from unauthorised use of your systems and equipment. If you would like to review your current IT policies or put policies in place to protect your business call Employsure today on 1300 651 415 or fill in the form below.

*Information sourced via smart company website.

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