Every employee is responsible for using Launch’s computer system, including, without limitation, its electronic mail (e-mail) system and the Internet, properly and in accordance with this policy. Any questions about this policy should be addressed to the Director of Operations.
The computers that you use at work and the e-mail system are the property of Launch and have been provided for use in conducting Launch business. All communications and information transmitted by, received from, created or stored in its computer system (whether through word processing programs, e-mail, the Internet or otherwise) are Launch records and property of Launch. The computer system is to be used for Launch purposes only. Employees may, however, use Launch technology resources for the following incidental personal uses so long as such use does not interfere with the employee’s duties, is not done for pecuniary gain, does not conflict with Launch business, and does not violate any Launch policy: (1) To send and receive necessary and occasional personal communications; (2) To prepare and store incidental personal data (such as personal calendars, personal address lists, and similar incidental personal data) in a reasonable manner; (3) To use the telephone system for brief and necessary personal calls; and (4) To access the Internet for brief personal searches and inquiries during meal times or other breaks, or outside of work hours, provided that employees adhere to all other usage policies.
Although Launch does not wish to examine personal information, from time to time Launch may need to access its technology resources. Launch has the right, but not the duty, to monitor any and all of the aspects of its computer system, including, without limitation, reviewing documents created and stored on its computer system, deleting any matter stored in its system (including, without limitation, its e-mail and word processing systems), monitoring sites visited by employees on the Internet, monitoring chat and news groups, reviewing material downloaded or uploaded by users to the Internet, and reviewing e-mail sent and received by users. Further, Launch may exercise its right to monitor its computer system for any reason and without the permission of any employee. Employee use of Launch’s computer system constitutes consent to all the terms and conditions of this policy. Even if employees use a password to access the computer system (or any aspect thereof), the confidentiality of any message stored in, created, received, or sent from Launch computers is not assured. Use of passwords or other security measures does not in any way diminish Launch’s right to monitor and access materials on its system, or create any privacy rights of employees in the messages and files on the system. Any password used by employees must be revealed to Launch, as files may need to be accessed by Launch in an employee’s absence or for any other reason that Launch in its discretion deems appropriate. Further, employees should be aware that deletion of any e-mail messages or files will not truly eliminate the messages from the system. All e-mail messages and other files may be stored on a central back-up system in the normal course of data management. Therefore, employees should not have an expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send or receive on the computer system.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, even though Launch has the right to retrieve, read and delete any information created, sent, received or stored on its computer system, e-mail messages should still be treated as confidential by other employees and accessed only by the intended recipient. Employees are not authorized to retrieve or read any e-mail messages that are not sent to them or by them. Any exception to this policy must receive the prior approval of a supervisor.
Required Employees are reminded to be courteous to other users of the system and always to conduct themselves in a professional manner. E-mails, in particular, are sometimes misdirected or forwarded and may be viewed by persons other than the intended recipient. Users should write e-mail communications with no less care, judgment and responsibility than they would use for letters or internal memoranda written on Launch letterhead. Because e-mail and computer files may be subject to discovery in litigation, employees are expected to avoid making statements in e-mail or computer files that would not reflect favorably on the employee or Launch if disclosed in litigation or otherwise. Finally, employees may not send unsolicited e-mail to persons with whom they do not have a prior relationship absent the express permission of their supervisor.
Launch policy against discrimination and harassment, sexual or otherwise, applies fully to Launch’s computer system, and any violation of that policy is grounds for discipline up to and including discharge. Therefore, no e-mail messages should be created, sent, or received if they contain intimidating, hostile, or offensive material concerning race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or any other classification protected by law. Further, material that is fraudulent, harassing, embarrassing, sexually explicit, profane, obscene, intimidating, defamatory, or unlawful, inappropriate, offensive (including offensive material concerning sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, or other characteristic protected by law) may not be downloaded from the Internet or displayed or stored in Launch computers. Employees encountering or receiving this kind of material should immediately report the incident to the Director of Operations.
Launch may (but is not required to) use software to identify inappropriate or sexually explicit Internet sites. Such sites may be blocked from access by Launch networks. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Launch is not responsible for material viewed or downloaded by users from the Internet. The Internet is a worldwide network of computers that contains millions of pages of information. Users are cautioned that many of these pages include offensive, sexually explicit, and inappropriate material. In general, it is difficult to avoid at least some contact with this material while using the Internet. Even innocuous search requests may lead to sites with highly offensive content. In addition, having an e-mail address on the Internet may lead to receipt of unsolicited e-mail containing offensive content. Users accessing the Internet do so at their own risk. Employees who encounter inappropriate or sexually explicit material while browsing on the Internet should immediately disconnect from the site, regardless of whether the site was subject to Launch blocking software.
Launch’s computer system (including, without limitation, its e-mail system) may not be used to solicit for political causes, commercial enterprises, outside organizations, or other non-job related solicitations. Approval from a supervisor is required before anyone can post any information on commercial on-line systems or the Internet.
Employees may not agree to a license or download any material over the Internet for which a registration fee is charged without first obtaining the express written permission of the Principal or Executive Director.
Employees may not use a Launch Internet connection to download games or other entertainment software, or to play games over the Internet.
Employees may not transmit information over the Internet or through e-mail that is confidential or proprietary. Employees are referred to Launch’s “Confidential Nature of Work” policy, contained herein, for a general description of what Launch deems confidential or proprietary. When in doubt, employees must consult their immediate supervisor and obtain approval before transmitting any information which may be considered confidential or proprietary.
Launch’s computer system may not be used to send (upload) or receive (download) copyrighted materials, trade secrets, proprietary financial information, or similar materials without prior authorization from a supervisor. Employees, if uncertain about whether certain information is copyrighted, proprietary, or otherwise inappropriate for transfer, should resolve all doubts in favor of not transferring the information and consult a supervisor.
Further, any Launch-approved material that is posted or sent via its computer system should contain all proper copyright and trademark notices. Absent prior approval from a supervisor to act as an official representative of Launch, employees posting information must include a disclaimer in that information stating, “Views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent those of Launch.”
Employees must not deliberately perform acts that waste computer resources or unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others. These acts include, but are not limited to, sending mass mailings or chain letters, spending excessive amounts of time on the Internet, playing games, engaging in online chat groups, printing excessive copies of documents, or otherwise creating unnecessary network traffic. Because audio, video and picture files require significant storage space, check with the Director of Operations before storing these files on your computer or in shared digital folders. In addition, employees should routinely delete outdated or otherwise unnecessary e-mails and computer files. These deletions will help keep the system running smoothly and effectively, as well as minimize maintenance costs.
To ensure security and to avoid the spread of viruses, employees accessing the Internet through a computer attached to Launch’s network must do so through an approved Internet firewall. Accessing the Internet directly by modem is strictly prohibited unless the computer you are using is not connected to Launch’s network.
In addition, files obtained from sources outside Launch, including disks brought from home; files downloaded from the Internet, news groups, bulletin boards, or other online services; files attached to e-mail; and files provided by customers or vendors may contain dangerous computer viruses that may damage Launch’s computer network. Employees should never download untrusted Internet files, disks or email attachments without first scanning the material with Launch-approved virus checking software or checking with the Director of Operations. If you suspect that a virus has been introduced into Launch’s network, notify technology personnel immediately.
Violations of this policy will be taken seriously and may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination, and civil and criminal liability.