New York Transit Employee Caught Spamming on the Job

Written by Sue Walsh on October 1, 2012

A veteran employee of New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority - the agency responsible for all of the city’s subways and bus lines – was caught spamming on the job. Gloria Colon, who works as an equal-employment opportunity officer, sent the spam to all 1600+ MTA employees plus countless sister agencies.

“The status of women in our country remains marked by discrimination in employment, healthcare, sexual crime and family life,” reads the message, sent on August 13th, “Women’s votes will be crucial to success in the upcoming Presidential election.”

Despite that fact that some employees were enraged or offended by the spam and the fact it was sent while Colon was supposed to be doing the job taxpayer dollars pay for, the agency defended her, saying it was perfectly appropriate given her job is to investigate allegations of discrimination and harassment so it makes sense that she would discuss women’s issues with employees. Do you agree?

Most employers would not be so accepting. If you want to avoid something like this in your own company, make sure employees receive a clear and easy to understand internet usage policy and are reminded of it regularly. Monitoring software may also be appropriate. Remind employees that when they are on the clock they are representing you and your brand and that careless emailing or posting can result in serious damage to your reputation. Educating your employees is your best defense.

Have you ever caught an employee spamming on the job? How did you handle it? Where there any lingering affects?

Comments

Lydia October 5, 2012

This is gross! It is not only spam but it also involves politics. Not sure how many laws exactly she managed to violate at once but I certainly don’t find her behavior acceptable. I am irritated when I get spam emails of the funny variety, and I can’t imagine how infuriated I’d be, if I’d get political propaganda messages. It’s my right to decide if any of the candidates deserves my vote or not!!!!

Mark Lopez October 5, 2012

This is actually very tricky in a lot of ways. First usually when we say spam the message is all about promotions. This one isn’t. For those who are reading this article, know that spam is any message that is unsolicited or delivered to hundreds of individuals without permission. Second the employee is defended partly by its company, which is almost synonymous to agreeing to spam. Third, she did it while on the job, which could mean she’s spending a lot of time doing non-productive activities. Definitely, if I were the employer, I won’t be happy at all.

Quinn White October 7, 2012

I get the point of her agency, but honestly no company should tolerate spamming, no matter how noble the intention is. Spamming is spamming, and it’s supposed to be a crime. It’s a virtual form of invasion of privacy, and I know many of those who get to read it feel someone has just crossed their own personal space online. But here’s the thing: there’s a good chance that the organization doesn’t have any guideline on how to deal with spam, so perhaps that’s the reason why they’re sort of “agreeing” to it. If I’m right, then well it’s such a pity.

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