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Blogging May Cost You Your Job

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You open your blogging editor, jot off a quick post without thinking and are called into your managers office the next day and fired. It's becoming more of an issue now as most companies do not have explicit rules on what you can and cannot disclose. Something as innocent of a picture at work could get you canned.


The rise of blogging over the past few years has, inevitably, given way to another phenomenon, as companies are forced to confront employees' easy access to ranting and raving about work in public online forums like Blogger and LiveJournal.


Ellen Simonetti, the flight attendant in Texas, said she was suspended without pay, then benefits, and subsequently fired, by Delta Airlines this fall. Allegedly, her release was for posting photos of herself in uniform on her blog, which contained a mix of fact and fiction, she said. She'd never mentioned Delta by name as her employer, Simonetti said, and once Delta contacted her about the photos, she removed them from her site.


Last October, [Michael Hanscom] was working on Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, campus as a temp contracted to Xerox. One day, he saw some then-new Power Mac G5 computers being unloaded on site, and, tickled by the idea that Microsoft would be using Apple hardware, he snapped a photo and uploaded it to his blog.

... four days later he was called into his manager's office and told that because he was hosting the photo on his own site, he couldn't be ordered to remove the offending photo, but he could be ordered off the property, as he soon was.


... Heather Armstrong, [a] Utah web designer who lost her job in 2002 after her then-employer caught wind of her blog containing several stories she'd written about the types of people she'd worked with. She was soon fired for the postings.


Companies can generally fire employees for any cause -- or no cause, said Wendy Seltzer, an intellectual-property attorney who deals in free speech issues and works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

"If they didn't like the way you talked one day, they could, absent a specific agreement otherwise, they could fire you on the spot," she said.

Bloggers beware.

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Posted by Digger on December 7, 2004 11:39 PM (Permalink)

» Malnurtured Snay linked with Blogging Dangerous to your Job
» The Moderate Voice linked with Be Careful, Now....

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