Human resources questions: How can I protect my dental practice employees from sexually explicit spam email?

Jan. 21, 2013
Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane, of Bent Ericksen & Associates, detail three steps you can take to protect your dental office employees from sexually explicit spam email and outline your office policy regarding pornographic websites and the business use of computers.

Q. I’m concerned about spam email that my dental employees may receive advertising porn sites. I’m afraid that my employees will receive this garbage and consider it to be creating a hostile work environment. What should I do?

A: Here are three things you can do to confront this issue:

1. Create a policy that clearly outlines the use of computers for business purposes only and visiting websites that contain sexually explicit material is grounds for disciplinary action.

2. Buy and install software that filters and screens email for sexual content.

3. Explain to employees that they must immediately delete pornographic spam without opening the messages. If an employee gets this form of spam frequently, it may be because he or she is accessing those sites. Investigate and act promptly just in case.

The opinions expressed above are based on the writer’s comprehensive background as a human resources professional and the policies in our Bent Ericksen & Associates products having been reviewed by legal counsel. The writer is not an attorney, and the advice provided in this message should not be construed as a legal opinion. If you have legal questions after considering the advice and reading any materials referenced, it is recommended that you consult with your attorney.

Author bio
Tim Twigg is the president of Bent Ericksen & Associates, and Rebecca Crane is a human resource compliance consultant with Bent Ericksen & Associates. For 30 years, the company has been a leading authority in human resource and personnel issues, helping dentists deal successfully with the ever-changing and complex labor laws. To receive a complimentary copy of the company’s quarterly newsletter or to learn more about its services, call (800) 679-2760 or visit