29 percent of U.S. employees have looked at porn at least once at work

Watching

Office workers have long mastered the art of hiding what they’re really doing. Online shopping when the boss walks by? Minimize your browser! Perfecting your dating profile when your co-worker comes to chat? Press F4! Yet earlier this year an employee at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency got caught, almost literally, with his pants down. A special agent from the EPA’s Office of Inspector General showed up at the senior-level employee’s office to find out why he’d stored pornographic images on the network servers. The agent walked in on the guy—you guessed it—watching porn.

When pressed, the employee admitted he’d been watching sexy sites for two to six hours every workday since 2010. That’s somewhere from three to eight months of continuous porn watching. The man, who makes about $120,000 a year, is on administrative leave while the government investigates him. So far, EPA officials have found more than 7,000 porn files on his work computer. At a congressional hearing, it was revealed that he liked to visit a website called Sadism Is Beautiful.

Similar porn scandals have erupted recently at the Department of the Treasury, the National Science Foundation, and the Federal Communications Commission, where an employee said he watched porn for up to eight hours a week because he was bored. In 2010, 33 Securities and Exchange Commission employees were found to have viewed pornography repeatedly instead of doing their work. One senior attorney downloaded so much that he ran out of hard-drive space and just started burning porn to DVDs he kept around his office.

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