A couple in New Zealand filmed having sex in an office will not be able to sue for breach of privacy.
The pair were told by employment lawyers that they may lose their jobs over the incident with the country’s privacy commissioner John Edwards tellingRadio New Zealand that there is no strong legal recourse available to them.
Patrons of a pub across from the offices of insurance firm Marsh Ltd in Christchurch city centre saw the hour-long scene as the pair left the lights on.
For some reason, the spectators decided to film the couple and upload the video to social media. It has since been broadcast around the world.
Mr Edwards said it was unlikely the police could take action against the people who filmed and uploaded the footage.
He said: “The people who were watching, we may criticise them for a lapse of decency in taking advantage of that, but it is unlikely there’d be any legal liability for their action.”
Meanwhile, the employees came under scrutiny from their employers with Marsh Ltd chief executive Grant Milne saying: “Matters like these, we don’t just brush over them. An investigation will take place and we’ll take action from that investigation.
“Behaviour like this we don’t condone, and it’s not the sort of thing we expect to see going on in our place of employment.”
An employment law expert named, pleasingly, Blair Scotland, said the employees could lose their jobs. Mr Scotland explained that their future would turn on the question whether the company had been brought into disrepute by the actions of the pair.
Mr Scotland, a partner at Dundas Street Employment Lawyers, said: “A funky modern IT outfit might say, ‘Don’t do that on other people’s desks please, otherwise don’t worry about it,’ and have no disciplinary action whatsoever.
“It’s not necessarily a done deal that they’re out the door.”
He added: “Some people will have a bit of a snigger while others might wonder what sort of company allows these sorts of activities after hours. It’s not an easy process for an employer to weigh up.”
Patrons of the Carlton Bar and Eatery watched the antics, with the band stopping to allow more people to witness the scene.
One witness in the pub said on Reddit that “The entire bar united in cheering them on”.
“It started with a casual flirt. Then the kiss, grabbing the attention of all. Get it, son!
“Finally they moved to the back of them room, thinking they were unseen. Off comes the tights, down goes his head. By this stage, 50 bar patrons were pressed up against the window yelling their approval.
“To be honest, after watching them f*** for a good half hour, people started to get bored and drift off back to the dancefloor.”
One viewer, Ally Hills, said: “Funniest thing I have seen in a while. Made for a great night.”
Another, Alastair Neville, gave thanks that he was “fortunate enough to be at this historic event”.
“I would say 99 per cent of the pub got behind this couple and cheered them on as s*** got out of control. The atmosphere was the most positive I’ve ever experienced at a bar!”
After posting a photo of the event he provided a running commentary for people on the internet.
Leah Bates, 25, said she wondered what everyone was looking at on the way back from the toilet.
“We looked out the window and it was all go. Everyone in the whole place was watching,” she said.
“They had absolutely no idea – it was brilliant. We went upstairs and watched from the balcony, and everyone was cheering — especially when he dropped her on the floor – twice. Everyone just lost it.
“They turned and faced the window and everyone was cheering and waving but they obviously couldn’t see us.
“It was pretty funny, a bit of a show for the night. Everyone was pretty impressed with how long he lasted. He went for ages.”
She added: “They didn’t look like a couple. It was way too passionate for that.”
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