February 03, 2006

Donegan redux

The ACLU believes employees should be entitled to the same rights on the job as they enjoy off the job? Then why didn't they agree to take on Matt Donegan's case? When has an [unjust state] law (in this case, "at will" employment) stopped the civil liberties group from bringing suits in the past?

Nevertheless, it should be noted that "15 states have enacted laws that restrain employers from prohibiting legal activities as a condition of employment. For example, Colorado law makes it "a discriminatory or unfair employment practice for an employer to terminate the employment of any employee due to that employee's engaging in any lawful activity off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours...."

Unfortunately for Matt Donegan, he doesn't live in Colorado. Nor California, another "at will" state where a year or so ago, a Google employee was fired for stuff he wrote in his blog. If Donegan had read the "helpful hints" noted at this site, he may have approached his myspace writings a bit differently. For instance, hint #6 says "Understand common-sense culture. For instance, it's not generally accepted to talk about personal details like salary (and I can think of a whole raft of such issues like religion, sexual orientation, political persuasion, personal lifestyles, etc) in public spaces."

Also worth checking out are here (a UK blogger firing case) and here which is the "Bloggers' Rights Blog" where you can sign an online petition for the "International Bloggers' Bill of Rights."

Also very insightful is this site which examines a question I posed over at Delaware Watch: what about people like movie and/or music stars who voice controversial public political opinions? And then, what of their employers' (movie studios/recording companies) rights, especially if what the actors/singers say is particularly offensive?

Meanwhile, the Wilmington News Journal Editorial Board jumps in on the Donegan matter -- on the side of the Dover Post.

UPDATE: Dana Garrett has been all over this issue with his usual controversial yet thought-provoking posts.

Posted by Hube at February 3, 2006 03:19 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

What a shame. Donegan sounds like a smart kid with a sense of humor.
The MSM can't tolerate the fact that they no longer control flow of iinformation- so Donegan had to go.
Re the ACLU, if Donegan had blogged in a skirt, they would take his case.

Posted by: AJ Lynch at February 3, 2006 03:33 PM

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