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Brief: IBM Worker Says He Was Fired For Chat-Room Addiction

He says IBM should have offered him counseling instead of firing him.

A former employee has filed suit against IBM, claiming the company should have provided him counseling for his addiction to Internet chat rooms rather than fire him in 2003. James Pacenza, who was employed at an IBM research facility in New York state, admits spending time in chat rooms during work hours but says it was a way to ease post-traumatic stress from his combat in Vietnam, an addiction he compares with drug and alcohol abuse. IBM says Pacenza wasn't fired specifically for using a chat room but for using a company computer during the workday to log on to a Web site that "contained sexual content." The company is expected to file a motion to dismiss the case next month.

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