Politics Play In Kentucky Net Bans
State workers in Kentucky’s capitol have been suspended for using the Internet. Not for illegal or questionable activities, but for reading news, doing searches, and shopping.
June suspensions of eight state employees for their Internet browsing may have been in retaliation for filing complaints against an ex-boss in the Transportation Cabinet. With this being Kentucky, the home of WebProNews, the issue is hardly cut and dried thanks to the political aspects.
The Lexington Herald-Leader said the suspensions took place after a review of Internet usage took place in October 2006. That was before the ex-boss, Jose Ceballos, took his job.
His underlings filed complaints, accusing him of falsifying time sheets and making sexual comments. They suspect their suspensions came about as a result. One suspended person had a couple of newspaper sites, the Herald-Leader and the Louisville Courier-Journal, cited as examples of non-work related browsing.
Such crackdowns may happen again as the state enforces a new Internet policy that started in late June of this year. Neither paper is friendly to the Republican administration of Governor Ernie Fletcher.
The issue of Internet usage at work has always been a tough one for some employers to handle. Some take very draconian measures, like filtering, to keep people from hitting non-work related sites. Others are more relaxed and permit it so long as work is being performed as specified.
Few people will side with government employees hitting Fark or YouTube on the taxpayer’s dollar. The best solution may be to permit surfing on non-work time, like breaks or lunch. State workers have real lives like anyone else and may have pressing needs to handle some personal tasks online during the day.