Fair Work Australia has ruled that sending porn through the work email system should not be an automatic sacking offence.
The full bench of Fair Work Australia has found that three Australia Post workers were ''harshly'' dismissed after being caught using the Australia Post email system to distribute sexually explicit material around their workplace.
A closed-door hearing later this month will decide if the workers should get their jobs back.
The men, who worked at Australia Post's Dandenong Letter Centre, were among 40 workers disciplined by the postal authorities over online activities in 2010.
They were sacked after an investigation found a large number of workers involved in accessing, storing and distributing pornographic material, some of it 'hardcore', around the workplace.
The activity came to light after Australia Post installed new email software filters on its internal email system.
However, Fair Work found that most of the material was softcore pornography and no more salacious than material that might be viewed on free-to-air television almost any night of the week.
''A small amount of the material is properly classified as hardcore,'' Fair Work stated.
Deputy President of Fair Work, Michael Lawler and Commissioner, Anna Lee Cribb wrote that bosses could not automatically sack a worker for distributing porn to colleagues.
The Commissioners found that Australia Post should have considered the length of service - between 11 and 17 years - of the men it sacked before it made its decision.
Edition 378, 10 September 2013