August 15, 2003 09:00am
Librarians Settle Internet Porn Case
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) -- The city's public library will consider using Internet filters to restrict patrons' access to online porn, and will pay $435,000 to a dozen librarians who said easy access to the images resulted in a hostile work environment, the librarians' lawyer said Friday.
Library officials released a statement confirming the settlement, but did not mention the amount.
Among other measures, the officials said they would consider Internet filters and an increase in the penalties for those who violate the library's Internet policy.
The library did not admit any wrongdoing.
The issue arose in 1997, when librarians complained that staffers were being regularly exposed to pornographic images. Concern grew as patrons, including children, also were exposed to the graphic material.
The librarians complained to state and federal agencies, and in 2001 the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission found probable cause that federal law had been violated because of a sexually hostile work environment.
The case was referred to the Justice Department, which decided not to sue the library. The librarians filed a federal lawsuit in March.