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Old 19th November 2012, 06:41 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
I'm all for destroying the livelihood of bigoted pricks.

And you'll still feel that way when someone in a position of power decides you are a bigoted prick? To whom will you cry, "no I'm not, it's not fair!"?

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Old 19th November 2012, 06:42 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by Rat View Post
Or if the place he posted it (Facebook) shows his employment status, in which case his statements become attached to his employer, whether he intended it as such or not.

Bear in mind he won the court case.

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Old 19th November 2012, 06:51 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Bear in mind he won the court case.

Rolfe.
Oh, I know. And I still think he should've done. My employer is listed on my FB page (although I don't use FB these days), and if I were sacked because of something legal that I'd put on there, I'd be annoyed. But people really do need to think about the effect that "Person X, who is employed by Company Y says..." might have on someone reading the page.
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Old 19th November 2012, 07:48 PM   #204
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Happy birthday Rolfe.

I am in complete agreement with you on how bizarrely backwards the US system is for firing. It seems unusually restrictive and I wouldn't much like the idea that I could be fired for simply saying something.

That being said, you never explained how I was advocating the oppression of Christians. Would it be ok if you answered that? Thanks.
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Old 19th November 2012, 08:06 PM   #205
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I looked at the article on the Daily Mail site (shudder!) and it appears his employer isn't mentioned on his FB but that two of his gay coworkers are friended. When one asked what he meant by 'an equality too far' next to a link to a bbc article saying churches may be forced to conduct gay marriage he replied with his nonsense about gays having no faith or belief in Christ. And that churches are places of conscience. The other coworker reported him.

They should have just unfriended him and only ever discussed work topics after that. I wouldn't even give this trash eye contact.
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Old 20th November 2012, 01:54 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
I have a slightly different scenario for you regarding this.

The company I currently work for actively encouraged employees liking their company on Facebook and gave some sort of incentive for them to do so.

If the company in the OP had also done this would that change anyones opinion on the matter?

Nope. Makes no difference. He expressed a personal opinion on a subject not directly connected to his job, in a forum outside work. If his work decides to enter into the non-work environment (by setting up a FB page), or his work colleagues decide to enter into the non-work environment (by adding him as a friend on Facebook) that are also choosing to potentially expose themselves to opinions and views they might not agree with.

If his work colleagues really took issue with him being anti-Gay marriage their only reasonable course of action was to defriend him on Facebook.
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Old 20th November 2012, 02:03 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by Rat View Post
Or if the place he posted it (Facebook) shows his employment status, in which case his statements become attached to his employer, whether he intended it as such or not.
Under New Zealand law that only flies if the action at issue took place while the individual was acting in an official capacity as a representative of the workplace.

For example, to use an American example, a Coca-cola employee drinking Pepsi while in a Coca-cola uniform and driving a Coca-cola branded truck could be disciplined. A person who listed their employer as "Coca-cola" on Facebook and then posted a picture of them drinking Pepsi in civilian clothes while at a friend's place could not be disciplined.
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Old 20th November 2012, 04:07 AM   #208
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His employers were wrong to demote him in my view, though at least one of his coworkers who was a facebook friend did find his views homophobic and insulting. 45 of his facebook friends were his coworkers, at least one was a board member, and his page was open to 'friends of friends'. Also, his posting about gay marriage went on to the newsfeed of the Trust's own page, which is why the Trust felt he had breached their rules on demonstrating a commitment to equality and diversity.

The report of the proceedings is on Bailii now: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2012/3221.html

From that Mr Smith won £89 or thereabouts and does not get his old job back, because he sued the Trust for breach of contract for the 12 weeks notice, he accepted the lower paid job rather than accept the sack for gross misconduct, and didn't go to an employment tribunal within the time specified to bring such a case. That outcome doesn't really seem right to me, though Mr Smith's solicitors would have been aware of the time limits to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal. He's got a lot of publicity out of it though, which may have been his ultimate intention in bringing the claim - he will have known that winning would only get him £89 or so and not get his job back.

The Bailii report makes clear that he'd had warnings about his conduct in the past, but doesn't say what these warnings were for.
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Old 20th November 2012, 04:19 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Nope. Makes no difference. He expressed a personal opinion on a subject not directly connected to his job, in a forum outside work. If his work decides to enter into the non-work environment (by setting up a FB page), or his work colleagues decide to enter into the non-work environment (by adding him as a friend on Facebook) that are also choosing to potentially expose themselves to opinions and views they might not agree with.

If his work colleagues really took issue with him being anti-Gay marriage their only reasonable course of action was to defriend him on Facebook.
It seems, from the link Agatha posted (thanks, Agatha!) that it was more complicated than that:

Quote:
36 The disciplinary proceedings were triggered by a complaint from a Mr Stephen Lynch, one of Mr Smith's colleagues at work (although not one of his Facebook friends) who had seen the relevant postings on the newsfeed page of a facebook site which he administered with the Trust's approval, called Trusty Bear. This complaint was made to the Trust's Equality and Diversity section, passed to the H R Advisor and then, on 16 February, to Mr Smith's immediate manager Mrs Deborah Gorman. She and Ms Ellie Bifield (of the HR Department) met Mr Smith and his union representative on the following day. Mr Smith was suspended on basic pay pending an investigation into what were described as potentially serious breaches of the Trust's policies and procedures.

Smith's comments were visible to people, who were not his friends, following the Facebook page about the Trust, and he was identified on his page as working for the Trust.
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Old 20th November 2012, 10:19 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
I'm all for destroying the livelihood of bigoted pricks.
He said he did not like the idea of gay marriage in church and thought it odd non religious people want to marry in church. That is pretty tame for you to label someone a bigot.

Is someone a bigot if they do not think a church should be forced to conduct gay weddings if they do not want to and they do not really follow why people who never go to church should be so determined to marry in church?
I say they are a bigot if they will not tolerate such. They are not a bigot if that person will tolerate gay weddings at churches where the church is happy to do such and for non religious people to marry in church.
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Old 20th November 2012, 11:27 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
He said he did not like the idea of gay marriage in church and thought it odd non religious people want to marry in church. That is pretty tame for you to label someone a bigot.

Is someone a bigot if they do not think a church should be forced to conduct gay weddings if they do not want to and they do not really follow why people who never go to church should be so determined to marry in church?
I say they are a bigot if they will not tolerate such. They are not a bigot if that person will tolerate gay weddings at churches where the church is happy to do such and for non religious people to marry in church.
I'm more offended that he insinuated that being gay means you don't have faith or belief in christ. I don't know where he's getting that crap from.
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Old 20th November 2012, 11:37 AM   #212
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That was the bit that stood out for me too. I don't think he's very bright. He had two gay work colleagues on his Facebook friends list, but it never occurred to him that some of his church congregation might be gay?

I suspect he's a member of a very narrow sect, and the thinking goes, homosexuality is a sin, people who have faith in Christ don't sin persistently (that's probably the really silly bit), therefore nobody who has faith in Christ can be homosexual (or vice versa).

I wonder what his reaction would be to coming into contact with the many LBGT Christian groups around the country? What about the clergymen who have come out as gay?

These attitudes need to be challenged and changed, but depriving someone of his livelihood for expressing this opinion outwith work and in a private forum is unjustifiable.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th November 2012, 03:31 PM   #213
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I used to work at an Anglican Cathedral and the Canon there is openly gay, if he ever wants to get married I am sure he would want to do that in the church. So Mr Smith's assumption that all gay people are not believers is odd, wrong and disappointing.

But I still think his employers were wrong to effectively sack him and then re-employ him at a lower grade. If what he did was gross misconduct (which the court found it wasn't) then re-employing him makes no sense. If it wasn't gross misconduct, then the disciplinary procedure was ill-founded from the start.

I think this case and the recent spate of prosecutions here over facebook and twitter postings shows that both the law and the policies and procedures of companies need to be reviewed in light of the advent of social media.
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Old 20th November 2012, 04:20 PM   #214
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Slightly off-topic, but a journalist from the Scotsman has just had the most extraordinary meltdown on Twitter, because of critical comment on a political blog.

http://wingsland.podgamer.com/fragil...ateral-damage/

(Some quoted naughty words in that link.)

He is insisting that he has been defamed by what are obviously fair (and fact-based) comments, and is vowing to publish something damaging he says he has on an SNP MSP in retaliation, and also dig into the background of the owner of the blog and "look at every aspect of his life and use it to hurt him". It also emerged in the comments thread that he had previously gone to someone else's employer and tried to get him sacked because of an unrelated incident relating to a blog listing.

In a separate incident, about the same time, the political editor of the Herald launched an astonishingly intemperate attack on people who criticise him online, on a radio phone-in show.

Quote:
Speaking on the Shereen Nanjiani show on BBC Radio Scotland, journalist Magnus Gardham called for action over anonymous “trolls” he claimed were responsible for spreading "hatred and bile" on the internet.

Mr Gardham was taking part in a discussion on the Conservative peer Lord McAlpine who had been wrongly implicated in a sex abuse scandal by the BBC and who was considering taking legal action against people who posted messages on Twitter naming him.

The former Daily Record reporter, who recently joined the Herald, said he hoped that the Lord McAlpine scandal would be a “defining moment” for social media and added:

“In Scottish politics there is a huge problem with internet trolls who target journalists who are perceived to be critical of Scottish independence, who hide under a cloak of anonymity and spread bile and hatred and abuse and intimidation.

“If a precedent can be set in this case which shows that it’s not acceptable and there are sanctions then I think that will be entirely healthy.”

http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index...reading-hatred

Policies need to be reviewed, but also people in privileged positions need to learn the difference between criticism and dissent, and "trolling" and "bile and hatred and abuse and intimidation". Online participation is giving the ordinary man in the street a voice, and there are those who are used to being able to control the debate who don't like that and are having trouble adjusting.

I just cancelled my subscription to Magnus Gardham's newspaper after having been a loyal reader for over 40 years.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th November 2012, 05:07 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
I am in complete agreement with you on how bizarrely backwards the US system is for firing. It seems unusually restrictive and I wouldn't much like the idea that I could be fired for simply saying something.
I see no reason that I, as a private sector employer, should be precluded from sacking an employee for saying something that I find offensive just as I see no reason that an employee should be precluded from quitting if I were to say something that they find offensive. As an employer I should have the right to choose who it is that I employ; as an employee I should have the right to choose the environment in which I want to be employed...

Hardly backward.
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Old 20th November 2012, 05:40 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And you'll still feel that way when someone in a position of power decides you are a bigoted prick? To whom will you cry, "no I'm not, it's not fair!"?

Rolfe.
So you don't think a business owner should be able to fire someone that is a member of the KKK?
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Old 20th November 2012, 05:48 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
He said he did not like the idea of gay marriage in church and thought it odd non religious people want to marry in church. That is pretty tame for you to label someone a bigot.
I agree, but rules of the forum don't really allow me to use the words I want to use. Thus, I'll keep it tame.

Quote:
Is someone a bigot if they do not think a church should be forced to conduct gay weddings if they do not want to and they do not really follow why people who never go to church should be so determined to marry in church?
Nope, but they are a bigot if they think a church should not do so.

Quote:
I say they are a bigot if they will not tolerate such. They are not a bigot if that person will tolerate gay weddings at churches where the church is happy to do such and for non religious people to marry in church.
The guy proved himself a bigot based on much more than the one comment.
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Old 20th November 2012, 05:50 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
I'm more offended that he insinuated that being gay means you don't have faith or belief in christ. I don't know where he's getting that crap from.
From Christianity. The religion has taught homophobia for more than a millenia.
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Old 20th November 2012, 06:18 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
So you don't think a business owner should be able to fire someone that is a member of the KKK?

Correct. That is exactly what I do think. And if we had KKK here, that is how it would be.

(That is assuming that the KKK isn't an illegal organisation, and that there's nothing in the contract of employment the employee signed that made it specifically clear that membership of - preferably named - illegal organisations was unacceptable. Even then, I suspect the law would allow the employee to resign from the organisation rather than be fired.)

I'm so glad we are a more free society than the USA, even if it allows some people to be free to do things I don't agree with.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th November 2012, 06:26 PM   #220
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
From Christianity. The religion has taught homophobia for more than a millenia.

"Millennia" (check spelling) is a plural noun.

It's not only Christian denominations that have taught homophobia. It has been a widespread position in both religious and secular circles for centuries and possibly millennia. Personally, I don't recall the subject of same-sex relationships ever being mentioned inside any church I have attended, at any point in my life. I do remember the sniggering conversations "behind the bike sheds" at school.

Many people have used their religion to justify and propagate homophobia. Others have sought the deeper meaning of their religion and reached out to their fellow human beings.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th November 2012, 06:35 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
How did his employer find the comments if they were private, I wonder?
One should assume that nothing one posts on Facebook is private, privacy settings notwithstanding. The same goes for e-mail. Or any Internet forum including this one.
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Old 20th November 2012, 07:00 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
So you don't think a business owner should be able to fire someone that is a member of the KKK?
Should a vegetarian boss be able to fire a meat-eating employee?

Is there a line in US employment or can people be fired for anything the employer feels like? I happen to loathe Bieber, could I fire an employee for buying his music?
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Old 20th November 2012, 07:03 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Correct. That is exactly what I do think. And if we had KKK here, that is how it would be.

(That is assuming that the KKK isn't an illegal organisation, and that there's nothing in the contract of employment the employee signed that made it specifically clear that membership of - preferably named - illegal organisations was unacceptable. Even then, I suspect the law would allow the employee to resign from the organisation rather than be fired.)

I'm so glad we are a more free society than the USA, even if it allows some people to be free to do things I don't agree with.

Rolfe.
More regulation equals greater freedom? I would say that we have greater freedom in the US than do you in this regard.
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Old 20th November 2012, 07:25 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
More regulation equals greater freedom? I would say that we have greater freedom in the US than do you in this regard.
As an employer, not as an employee.
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Old 20th November 2012, 09:57 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
Should a vegetarian boss be able to fire a meat-eating employee?
This question has no relevance. The KKK is a group that actively seeks to destroy the lives of minorities.

Quote:
Is there a line in US employment or can people be fired for anything the employer feels like? I happen to loathe Bieber, could I fire an employee for buying his music?
Yes, there is a line. An employer cannot fire an employee for not having sex with them, for example.
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Old 21st November 2012, 04:36 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
This question has no relevance. The KKK is a group that actively seeks to destroy the lives of minorities.



Yes, there is a line. An employer cannot fire an employee for not having sex with them, for example.
You didn't answer the question. Could that happen?

You don't like the KKK. Perhaps our hypothetical boss hates meat-eaters. "Meat is murder" after all

Why should a boss's personal feelings affect an employees livelihood?

People should be judged on how good they are at their job.
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:56 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
More regulation equals greater freedom? I would say that we have greater freedom in the US than do you in this regard.

Actually, yes. Regulation of powerful elites equates to greater freedom for ordinary people. And yes, I have been an employer.

If you believe complete freedom for the powerful is the important freedom, even though this results in severely curtailed freedom for the ordinary citizen, then, hey, yet another reason I'm glad I'm not American.

Rolfe.
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Old 21st November 2012, 09:22 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Actually, yes. Regulation of powerful elites equates to greater freedom for ordinary people. And yes, I have been an employer.
Powerful elites? A person who employs another is a member of the powerful elite? I guess that I have been promoted...

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If you believe complete freedom for the powerful is the important freedom, even though this results in severely curtailed freedom for the ordinary citizen, then, hey, yet another reason I'm glad I'm not American.

Rolfe.
Perhaps you can point to where I suggested that I "believe complete freedom for the powerful is the important freedom"? I think that is called a strawman.

You might also indicate how what I said results in "severely curtailed freedom for the ordinary citizen"?

I think that freedom of association is an important right for everyone to enjoy. I do not think that government should dictate to me with whom I can work. I do not believe that government should be the judge of the value of an employee to my business. I believe that as it is my money that is at risk, and my business that will suffer, I am the best judge as to whether someone is unsuitable as an employee. I fail to see the equity in forcing me to employee someone whose employment is, in my estimation, a detriment to my business.

The situation in the OP is an excellent example of the problem of government regulations limiting employer's firing options. It might well be that his FB postings would be unlikely to cause his employer significant harm, I don't know. I do know, however, that had one of my consultants made a similar posting that became public knowledge it would almost certainly result in her becoming persona non grata with some clients and might well impact my ability to get work in some quarters. My responsibility as his employer is to weigh the merits of keeping her on the one hand and sending her packing on the other. If the benefits of keeping her on outweigh the cost of lost business I'll keep her, otherwise I will give her notice.

That an employee belongs to the KKK might not constitute a reasonable cause for sacking in your view is terrific - your average sheep does not care about the politics of his vet. My clients and employees, none of whom are sheep, would certainly care if one of my employees were to espouse KKK beliefs.
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Old 21st November 2012, 09:29 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
As an employer, not as an employee.
What freedom does the employee not enjoy that the employer does?
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Old 21st November 2012, 09:33 AM   #230
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None of my clients are sheep, either. Some of my patients are sheep.

I think it's pretty obvious. If you depend on your job to put food on the table and keep a roof over your family's head, and your employer can fire you if he takes exception to anything you've said, your freedom of expression just took a big hit. If you also depend on your employment for healthcare for yourself and your family, as seems common in the USA, this goes double.

Is that all OK just because it isn't the government that has such power over you?

Rolfe.
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Old 21st November 2012, 10:08 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
None of my clients are sheep, either. Some of my patients are sheep.
My mistake. I apologize for misrepresenting the status of the sheep.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think it's pretty obvious. If you depend on your job to put food on the table and keep a roof over your family's head, and your employer can fire you if he takes exception to anything you've said, your freedom of expression just took a big hit. If you also depend on your employment for healthcare for yourself and your family, as seems common in the USA, this goes double.

Is that all OK just because it isn't the government that has such power over you?

Rolfe.
I depend upon my business to put food on my table and to keep a roof over my head as do my employees. What hurts my business hurts me. What hurts my business hurts my employees. I am responsible for the management of my business. If an employee's poor judgement puts my business at risk I really do not see that it is in any way unreasonable for me to act.

I do not have any power over what my employees think or say. I do not care about their politics, religion, or computer habits. I am not concerned about their marital status or sexual preferences. I am not even bothered if they are Welsh. I care only that they do their jobs effectively and that they show reasonably good judgement and do not do or say things that can harm the enterprise.

In my experience employers are reluctant to let even marginally productive employees go if there is any alternative - the cost and hassle of locating and training replacements is not trivial and works to the employee's advantage. The employer who sacks otherwise productive employees for silly reasons is unlikely to be able to retain good employees. Absent content and productive employees most businesses will fail.
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Old 21st November 2012, 10:20 AM   #232
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You seem to be implying that all employers will behave in an eminently reasonable manner and will not fire an employee unless his or her actions are detrimental to the business. However, I have seen nobody either indicate that there are legal constraints enforcing this, or that they believe there should be such constraints.

Essentially what is being argued for on this thread by most US posters is for employers to have the right to fire an employee just because the employer disagrees with something that has been said. In that case, the constraint on free speech is indeed severe, because how do you really know if your employer is a broadminded sort who values your contribution to the business, or a vindictive prick who wants you gone if you've said something he takes exception to? After you've been sacked is a bit too late.

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Old 21st November 2012, 10:58 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You seem to be implying that all employers will behave in an eminently reasonable manner and will not fire an employee unless his or her actions are detrimental to the business. However, I have seen nobody either indicate that there are legal constraints enforcing this, or that they believe there should be such constraints.
You are arguing that since some employers might act unreasonably the rest of us, probably the overwhelming majority of us, should be deprived of the ability to manage our businesses as we see fit.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Essentially what is being argued for on this thread by most US posters is for employers to have the right to fire an employee just because the employer disagrees with something that has been said. In that case, the constraint on free speech is indeed severe, because how do you really know if your employer is a broadminded sort who values your contribution to the business, or a vindictive prick who wants you gone if you've said something he takes exception to? After you've been sacked is a bit too late.

Rolfe.
An employer who fires a productive employee merely because he disagrees with a comment made by that employee is a fool. I see no reason that we should try to legislate against employers being foolish.

Your position seems to be that an employer must keep on an employee without regard to the employee's contribution to the business. Is this really your position?

If I did not have the ability to terminate an employee at will I would significantly change my hiring strategy. I would be far less likely to take a chance on a new hire who was untried and unknown to me - the risk of finding myself stuck after a year or so with an employee I either do not like or who does not fit well in my organization is just too high. The expense could be margin killing. Indeed, I would be likely elect to rely more on outside contractors and thus hire fewer employees directly. The old-timer consultants would love it; the too-inexperienced-to-hang-out-their-own-shingle not so much.
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Old 21st November 2012, 11:07 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
You are arguing that since some employers might act unreasonably the rest of us, probably the overwhelming majority of us, should be deprived of the ability to manage our businesses as we see fit.

An employer who fires a productive employee merely because he disagrees with a comment made by that employee is a fool. I see no reason that we should try to legislate against employers being foolish.

Your position seems to be that an employer must keep on an employee without regard to the employee's contribution to the business. Is this really your position?

If I did not have the ability to terminate an employee at will I would significantly change my hiring strategy. I would be far less likely to take a chance on a new hire who was untried and unknown to me - the risk of finding myself stuck after a year or so with an employee I either do not like or who does not fit well in my organization is just too high. The expense could be margin killing. Indeed, I would be likely elect to rely more on outside contractors and thus hire fewer employees directly. The old-timer consultants would love it; the too-inexperienced-to-hang-out-their-own-shingle not so much.
It's all well and good to say the employer would be foolish but that doesn't help the employee, does it?

And no one has said you would have to keep someone with poor performance on. If they can't do the job you can fire them. When did anyone say differently?
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Old 21st November 2012, 11:09 AM   #235
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My position is that employees should not lose their livelihoods for expressing opinions their employers don't like.

I said nothing about keeping on an employee regardless of their contribution to the business. In Britain there are a number of ways of getting rid of an employee who is unproductive, lazy, or damaging to the business. That is, if they somehow got past the probationary period in the first place. Somehow, we manage. I was a partner in a small business for about ten years, and we had to get rid of employees on two or three occasions.

It's entirely unnecessary to keep everyone in fear of arbitrary sacking for malicious reasons, in order to be able to manage a business effectively.

Rolfe.
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Old 21st November 2012, 11:26 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
It's all well and good to say the employer would be foolish but that doesn't help the employee, does it?

And no one has said you would have to keep someone with poor performance on. If they can't do the job you can fire them. When did anyone say differently?
What constitutes "poor performance"?

A large part of the work we do involves close collaboration with our clients, not infrequently in our clients' offices. A consultant who, though professionally competent, alienates client personnel, is a consultant that is of little use to me. An employee who is technically competent, but with whom I cannot work because of personality conflicts, is worthless to me.

Should I be required to keep on an employee who is technically competent but with whom I cannot work collaboratively? Or should I be able to fire him because we just don't like each other.
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Old 21st November 2012, 11:30 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
My position is that employees should not lose their livelihoods for expressing opinions their employers don't like.

I said nothing about keeping on an employee regardless of their contribution to the business. In Britain there are a number of ways of getting rid of an employee who is unproductive, lazy, or damaging to the business. That is, if they somehow got past the probationary period in the first place. Somehow, we manage. I was a partner in a small business for about ten years, and we had to get rid of employees on two or three occasions.
I guess the question is who gets to decide what is damaging to the business...

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's entirely unnecessary to keep everyone in fear of arbitrary sacking for malicious reasons, in order to be able to manage a business effectively.

Rolfe.
What makes you think that everyone is in fear of arbitrary sacking for malicious reasons?
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Old 21st November 2012, 11:45 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
What constitutes "poor performance"?

A large part of the work we do involves close collaboration with our clients, not infrequently in our clients' offices. A consultant who, though professionally competent, alienates client personnel, is a consultant that is of little use to me. An employee who is technically competent, but with whom I cannot work because of personality conflicts, is worthless to me.

Should I be required to keep on an employee who is technically competent but with whom I cannot work collaboratively? Or should I be able to fire him because we just don't like each other.
The problem is that your employees can't express any opinions then. What if they post a pic on FB of them at a gay pride rally and that offends one of your clients?

If you and your employee can't work together then they aren't doing their job and if it is because they are being difficult they get warnings then fired. If it's just a case of you not liking them then you have to grow up. We don't have to like everyone we meet in life and depriving someone of an income over that is ludicrous.

'Poor performance' is not doing your work to an adequate standard.
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Old 21st November 2012, 12:09 PM   #239
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
You are arguing that since some employers might act unreasonably the rest of us, probably the overwhelming majority of us, should be deprived of the ability to manage our businesses as we see fit.

An employer who fires a productive employee merely because he disagrees with a comment made by that employee is a fool. I see no reason that we should try to legislate against employers being foolish.

Your position seems to be that an employer must keep on an employee without regard to the employee's contribution to the business. Is this really your position?

If I did not have the ability to terminate an employee at will I would significantly change my hiring strategy. I would be far less likely to take a chance on a new hire who was untried and unknown to me - the risk of finding myself stuck after a year or so with an employee I either do not like or who does not fit well in my organization is just too high. The expense could be margin killing. Indeed, I would be likely elect to rely more on outside contractors and thus hire fewer employees directly. The old-timer consultants would love it; the too-inexperienced-to-hang-out-their-own-shingle not so much.
No I think she's arguing that since employers might act unreasonably its reasonable to legislate against unreasonable actions on behalf of employers.

An employer that injures his workers might be foolish but in the absence of H&S legislation it happens.

An employer that pays slave wages to employees might be foolish but in the absence of minimum wage legislation it happens.

An employer that fires people for arbitrary unreasonable reasons might be foolish but in the absence of protections it will happen. Furthermore, its pretty easy to discriminate against minorities for example without really impacting your business. There's probably plenty of equally qualified straight people for most roles so the business won't lose out, but gay people will. For no reason other than bigotry.
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Old 21st November 2012, 12:18 PM   #240
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
The problem is that your employees can't express any opinions then. What if they post a pic on FB of them at a gay pride rally and that offends one of your clients?
A photo at a Gay Pride parade is likely to make my clients happy...

On the other hand, since many of my clients are government agencies and since good judgement and discretion are very important to them I always warn employees to be careful about what they post on the internet.
Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
If you and your employee can't work together then they aren't doing their job and if it is because they are being difficult they get warnings then fired. If it's just a case of you not liking them then you have to grow up. We don't have to like everyone we meet in life and depriving someone of an income over that is ludicrous.

'Poor performance' is not doing your work to an adequate standard.
If I have an employee with whom I cannot get along I should just suck it up? If I fire somebody because I don't like him it is because the cost to me of keeping him on outweigh the benefits to me. That is a judgement I and I alone should be able to make as a business owner. I do not know about you but I want to enjoy my job. I want to like to go to work. How is this unreasonable? If I fire somebody I am not depriving him of a income - I am just saying that I do not want to provide that income.
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