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That's What She Said

2 workers fired after controversy over disrespectful Arlington Cemetery photo

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We really do live in a world that has some outrageous reactions. Was it disrespectful? Yes. Was it a mistake to post it? Yes. Should they have the over-the-top reaction that has come of it? No. People can voice their opinions, sure, but to go to such extremes as to starting a petition to get them fired is ridiculous.

I'm totally reminded of Amanda Todd and the way she was ostracized for doing something "dumb". The fact that people think that they can try and destroy someone else because of a dumb mistake is sickening, if you ask me. If you don't agree, fine- voice that and MOVE ON! There are so many more serious problems in this world than this.

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We really do live in a world that has some outrageous reactions. Was it disrespectful? Yes. Was it a mistake to post it? Yes. Should they have the over-the-top reaction that has come of it? No. People can voice their opinions, sure, but to go to such extremes as to starting a petition to get them fired is ridiculous.

I'm totally reminded of Amanda Todd and the way she was ostracized for doing something "dumb". The fact that people think that they can try and destroy someone else because of a dumb mistake is sickening, if you ask me. If you don't agree, fine- voice that and MOVE ON! There are so many more serious problems in this world than this.

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We really do live in a world that has some outrageous reactions. Was it disrespectful? Yes. Was it a mistake to post it? Yes. Should they have the over-the-top reaction that has come of it? No. People can voice their opinions, sure, but to go to such extremes as to starting a petition to get them fired is ridiculous.

I'm totally reminded of Amanda Todd and the way she was ostracized for doing something "dumb". The fact that people think that they can try and destroy someone else because of a dumb mistake is sickening, if you ask me. If you don't agree, fine- voice that and MOVE ON! There are so many more serious problems in this world than this.

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Glad the axe was dropped.

You don't have to respect memorials, but don't go out of your way to disrespect them.

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Ridiculous. If I was inclined I'd start a petition to have her reinstated. Over sensitive PC douchebags need to be put in their place. Poor judgement? Yes. Anyones business outside her circle of friends? Not a ???? chance.

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I know it was s business trip but were they on the clock there in that pic? If yes, highly justified firing. If not I hope she can sue them. Even when on a business trip people are owed their own time to do what they please and short of acting in a criminal fashion.... that certainly includes being an insensitive prick off the clock and away from the job site. At the same time someone who values their job and isn't a complete moron likely will be tame or less candid about their indiscretions when on a business trip. Fortunately people are dumb as a pile of rocks and don't understand the concept in this "brb taking a ****" social media communication era that there's probably a few things you should keep to yourself or communicate in a less obviously incriminating manner.

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If any of my employees did this on a company paid trip I would fire them without hesitation. The are representing my company and the image of my company. Thankfully I don't employ complete idiots.

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I know it was s business trip but were they on the clock there in that pic? If yes, highly justified firing. If not I hope she can sue them. Even when on a business trip people are owed their own time to do what they please and short of acting in a criminal fashion.... that certainly includes being an insensitive prick off the clock and away from the job site. At the same time someone who values their job and isn't a complete moron likely will be tame or less candid about their indiscretions when on a business trip.

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You are allowed your own time. But you are also allowed to be judged by what you do on that time. There is a simple lesson in this. One I have known my whole life. Don't let anyone take a picture of anything you are doing if you wouldn't be ok with it splattered on the front page of the newspaper. I personally have done a million things that are worse than this, even done them in front of many of my friends. I have definitely never let anyone take a picture of my indiscretions. So this goes back to what was said earlier. You are free to do what you want. We are all also free to be judged on those actions.

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That's quite a sweeping statement that suggests employers should both own their employee and bear the brunt of responsibility (and thus liability) of what they do even when off the clock. That sounds both excessively imposing and like far too much liability... why should I care what my employees do off the clock or add that type of risk exposure unnecessarily?

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It's called conduct unbecoming conduct of an employee. You have your rights and freedoms, but so does the people who choose to employ you. Your job isn't something that you have legislated to you. It's something that is granted to you by the person who wants to employ you. If a person chooses to be idiotic then the their employer has the right to distance himself or his company from that conduct. If you choose to accept a job you also accept to be an ambassador for that company. On or off the job does not change that position. An employee who does something bad off the clock can still tarnish a company or businesses image.

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Good point. Hiring a woman can easily tarnish our reputation as a business, especially if she were seen at an abortion clinic. Oh, and a gay man being seen at a gay pride parade.. better distance myself from anyone who goes to those things.

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TLDR: If you're in the private sector, you're not protected by the 1st Amendment. Companies need the best people working for them, and if you demonstrate through Facebook you're not, then to the unemployment line for you.

http://www.theglobea...article4346982/

Can an employer fire employees for what they do outside office hours?
With very few exceptions, an employer can fire an employee for just about anything. It just comes down to whether the employer owes the employee severance or if the employee’s conduct is so egregious, the employer can dismiss the employee for “cause” with no severance at all.

After the riot, I’m aware of at least one business that fired a well-liked and long-standing employee because she was photographed looting Sears. Her picture was one of scores uploaded to websites dedicated to catching the rioters and it found its way to the pages of the Vancouver Province and Vancouver Sun.

Whether the business she worked for had to pay four weeks severance or no severance was not as important as firing her. The business just wanted that person gone because of the damage her continued employment was having on the company’s reputation. The clients of the business read the papers too.

So one lesson all employees should learn is that whether they are receptionists, servers, salespersons or any other employee who directly engages with the public, they are the face of the company and an ambassador for its brand and image. If their photographs are all over the newspapers looting a department store during a riot, customers could well associate an employee’s “after-hours activity” with the employer.

http://www.forbes.co...ia-misbehavior/

the Constitution doesn’t apply to private employers, so employees can’t claim the right to freedom of speech.
But all private employers must respect their workers’ right to “protected concerted activity” — in other words, the right to talk among themselves about their
horrible
working conditions.

http://mashable.com/...al-media-fired/ (#11 comes to mind in this case)

http://business.fina...-get-you-fired/

Even before social media, when a university lecturer was convicted of fraud in the early 1980s in an insurance claim unrelated to his employment, a court concluded that it was cause for dismissal. The reason?
It could undermine confidence in the school and deleteriously impact both upon its enrolment and funding.

[...]

In all of the cases cited above, the conduct related to the nature of the employees’ roles. However, even when the misconduct bears no relation to a person’s job functions, it can still be cause for discharge if the employer’s interests, such as its reputation, are affected.

The broad panoply of offsite misconduct that could be cause for discharge is too broad to be catalogued and is limited only by workplace norms and employees’ imaginations. But whether at work or outside, the test is the same:
If misconduct is sufficiently serious to threaten an employer’s reputation or wellbeing, it can be cause for dismissal without severance.

http://www.slate.com...n_facebook.html

You might think the First Amendment decides the legal issue here, but it doesn’t. The Constitution protects free speech from government interference. In the private sector, however, courts have made management discretion the rule.
Employees who don’t work for the government and aren’t in a union can be fired or punished for almost anything they say, wherever they say it.
Business groups say
companies need the authority to put the best person in the job and to shuffle as they deem necessary.

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TLDR: If you're in the private sector, you're not protected by the 1st Amendment. Companies need the best people working for them, and if you demonstrate through Facebook you're not, then to the unemployment line for you.

http://www.theglobea...article4346982/

Can an employer fire employees for what they do outside office hours?
With very few exceptions, an employer can fire an employee for just about anything. It just comes down to whether the employer owes the employee severance or if the employee’s conduct is so egregious, the employer can dismiss the employee for “cause” with no severance at all.

After the riot, I’m aware of at least one business that fired a well-liked and long-standing employee because she was photographed looting Sears. Her picture was one of scores uploaded to websites dedicated to catching the rioters and it found its way to the pages of the Vancouver Province and Vancouver Sun.

Whether the business she worked for had to pay four weeks severance or no severance was not as important as firing her. The business just wanted that person gone because of the damage her continued employment was having on the company’s reputation. The clients of the business read the papers too.

So one lesson all employees should learn is that whether they are receptionists, servers, salespersons or any other employee who directly engages with the public, they are the face of the company and an ambassador for its brand and image. If their photographs are all over the newspapers looting a department store during a riot, customers could well associate an employee’s “after-hours activity” with the employer.

http://www.forbes.co...ia-misbehavior/

the Constitution doesn’t apply to private employers, so employees can’t claim the right to freedom of speech.
But all private employers must respect their workers’ right to “protected concerted activity” — in other words, the right to talk among themselves about their
horrible
working conditions.

http://mashable.com/...al-media-fired/ (#11 comes to mind in this case)

http://business.fina...-get-you-fired/

Even before social media, when a university lecturer was convicted of fraud in the early 1980s in an insurance claim unrelated to his employment, a court concluded that it was cause for dismissal. The reason?
It could undermine confidence in the school and deleteriously impact both upon its enrolment and funding.

[...]

In all of the cases cited above, the conduct related to the nature of the employees’ roles. However, even when the misconduct bears no relation to a person’s job functions, it can still be cause for discharge if the employer’s interests, such as its reputation, are affected.

The broad panoply of offsite misconduct that could be cause for discharge is too broad to be catalogued and is limited only by workplace norms and employees’ imaginations. But whether at work or outside, the test is the same:
If misconduct is sufficiently serious to threaten an employer’s reputation or wellbeing, it can be cause for dismissal without severance.

http://www.slate.com...n_facebook.html

You might think the First Amendment decides the legal issue here, but it doesn’t. The Constitution protects free speech from government interference. In the private sector, however, courts have made management discretion the rule.
Employees who don’t work for the government and aren’t in a union can be fired or punished for almost anything they say, wherever they say it.
Business groups say
companies need the authority to put the best person in the job and to shuffle as they deem necessary.

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