by CIO Staff

N.Y. Judge Rules Work Web Surfer Can’t Be Fired

Apr 25, 20062 mins
InternetIT Leadership

Administrative Law Judge John Spooner has ruled that surfing the Web while at work is the equivalent of reading a newspaper or placing a phone call, much to the joy of Toquir Choudhri, a 14-year veteran of New York City’s education department whose job depended on it, the Boston Herald reports.

Spooner found that Choudhri, an associate education analyst working in human resources, could be reprimanded for surfing the Web at work after being warned about it, but not fired, according to the Herald.

Martin Druyan, an attorney representing Choudhri, told the Herald the ruling doesn’t set any legal precedents, but it sets a tone.

“We don’t advocate people going online and goofing off,” Druyan told the Herald. “But if you don’t have work, what’s the big deal?”

Choudhri admitted using the Internet after being told to stop, but he said he did so only when all of his work was complete, according to the Herald.

Judge Spooner found that Choudhri’s bosses could not provide proof that his Web surfing negatively affected his work performance, the Herald reports.

“It should be observed that the Internet has become the modern equivalent of a telephone or daily newspaper, providing a combination of communication and information that most employees use as frequently in their personal lives as for their work,” Judge Spooner wrote, according to the Herald.

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