You can surf the web at work
Surf's up! Judge OKs Web crawls
BY JONATHAN LEMIRE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Breathe easy, city workers - a judge says you have the right to surf the Web at work.
The ruling by Administrative Law Judge John Spooner deemed that on-the-job Internet use is equivalent to reading a newspaper or talking on the phone - which flies in the face of Mayor Bloomberg's quick firing of an Albany clerk playing solitaire this year.
"If using the Internet doesn't interfere with work, then this is a very reasonable ruling," said lawyer Martin Druyan, who is representing the Department of Education employee whose case Spooner handled.
That employee - Toquir Choudhri, a 14-year veteran at the DOE - was brought up on charges by his supervisors for browsing the Internet while at work, Druyan said.
Choudhri's bosses checked his computer over two days and discovered he had viewed several news and travel sites, but Spooner gave him the lightest possible punishment, a mere reprimand
Druyan also said that the decision may strengthen the case of Edward Greenwood, a clerk in the city's Albany lobbying office, who was summarily fired by the mayor in February for having solitaire on his computer.
"[The ruling] is not binding authority," he said. "But, if he was to go to court to get his old job back, this could help his case."
It is more than likely he will now sue the city for his job and damages.
posted by Steve @ 3:23:00 PM