A technology specialist for a Portland, Ore.-based consulting firm was sentenced to ten days in jail and three years probation for secretly videotaping a coworker while she used a breast pump. Russell Kent Gordon, 45 years old, was found guilty over the summer for one felony count of second-degree burglary and one misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy as a result of the incident.
The victim, who has not been named in reports, noticed a so-called "spy pen" had been placed on her desk in her office at the Mason Bruce & Girard consulting firm. She proceeded to notify her managers of the situation, as the Oregonian reported. Gordon responded by saying the camera was being used to monitor the victim for potential data theft, even though the worker had never been labeled a threat at her company. Gordon resigned upon the discovery. At the trial. Judge Stephen Bushong referred to the incident as an "egregious invasion of privacy."
Speaking in court Tuesday, the victim said, "Mr. Gordon sullied what was in my mind a very selfless act... An act that was meant only for my daughter and for my daughter alone."
Gordon, for his part, argued he had placed the camera because he knew the victim was about to leave the company, and so was concerned about data theft. But he nevertheless offered an apology during the proceedings. "I do take responsibility for what I have done," he said. The Multnomah County Court also sentenced him to undergo mental-health counseling, a sex offender evaluation and 160 hours of community service.
Local FOX outlet KPTV is reporting Gordon has already found a new job since being fired, though his employer has yet to respond to his sentencing.
Being caught for being a peeping-tom in the workplace is an almost surefire way to get fired, as AOL Jobs has reported. In fact, last year, John Bednarik II, the director of campus environment for DeSales University in Central Valley, Penn., was videotaping a coworker while she was breast-pumping. Bednarik had reportedly built a secret cubbyhole from which he taped into his colleague's office. After his coworker noticed the camera in the ceiling, she contacted campus security. He was then immediately fired.
As it turns out, breastfeeding has recently been provided with new protections in the American workplace. As AOL Jobs has reported, one of the less heralded regulations of President Obama's Affordable Care Act mandates that employers provide a time and place for workers to pump their breast milk whenever they need to.