Office Sex Can Get you Into Trouble

By | February 23, 2009

I just read a news item which reported 30 employees of BT (British Telecom) have been suspended for telling a Joke about the Irish that one other member of staff regarded as racist. The union and the suspended staff are saying it was light-hearted and wasn’t racist, just a bit of fun. They also claim the management are taking advantage of the situation to shed staff and avoid a lengthy and potentially costly redundancy process.

It does however highlight that it’s all too easy to email in haste and repent at leisure. In this case potentially the leisure of being at home, unemployed.

Email creates a trail especially in the UK where firms are required to keep records of the electronic communications of their employees for legal reasons. It’s so easy to get into trouble. Imagine sending a saucy message to a friend who then falls out with you and uses it as a means to get revenge. Or even doing the classic send to all when you meant to send to just one person or a small group.

The best advice is to keep any naughty conduct away from email, and for that matter away from Dictaphones, mobiles with recording facility etc, etc. In fact come to think of it the office is such a mine field that the opportunities for the occasional naughty comment are diminishing fast. At least if you don’t want to lose your job.