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Inappropriate Materials Result in Appropriate Termination

Inappropriate Materials Result in Appropriate Termination

CHALLENGE

Plaintiff filed a wrongful termination claim after his employer terminated him for watching inappropriate materials on duty, from a corporate computer. The employee had been photographed sitting at his work-issued computer while inappropriate materials were displayed on the computer monitor.

Plaintiff’s retained computer expert suggested that the photographs had been altered, making them unreliable or fabricated.

The client needed expertise for the following:

  • To understand what steps to take to determine authenticity (or lack thereof)
  • To understand what other sources could be examined aside from the photographs
  • To understand how to build the entire storyboard of all the evidence for a jury to understand at trial

Solution

Using a team of iDS experts, we evaluated the photos and identified other sources of electronic data that could be used to test the authenticity of the photographs. It was discovered that no other data sources had been considered by Plaintiff’s expert in rendering opinions. 

The iDS Forensics Team analyzed and reported on the following: 

  • Timekeeping systems to demonstrate the work hours and presence of the employee during the website surfing periods

  • Analysis of the work-issued computer for the presence of the offending materials

  • The comparison of the date and time the employee had been photographed, to the images that had been created on the computer’s hard drive at the same time. Several of these same images were displayed on the computer monitor at the time the employee had been photographed

Result

Through live testimony, the iDS expert concluded that the web surfing had been performed on the date and time indicated, performed by the user profile assigned to the terminated employee, and that the employee was “on duty” at that time.

Our client won a jury trial verdict, stating that in large part it was due to the iDS work analyzing all of the evidence available and our ability to testify about the results in plain English.

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