TED Conversations

  • R H
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States


This conversation is closed.

Employer's 'Codes of Conduct' are violations of my civil rights

I recently worked with a Fortune 25 corp and had to sign a 'code of conduct' as a condition of employment. In it, it stated (effectively) 'employees conduct is a reflection of the company both on and off the job, therefore employees must conduct themselves in a manner representing the company at all times'. I felt this violated my civil rights. I felt that I was hired to perform a task, to a job, and that my life is my own. The employer (ostensibly) felt that to work there was a choice, not a demand, and this is their condition of employment if I should 'choose' to work there. My conduct is my business - especially 'off' the job. I am not a slave. I am not 'owned'. My actions are not 'owned', and I cannot be 'discarded' because I may or may not have personal values that mirror my employers. Employment is 'at will', I agree. But losing my job because of my conduct at home is a violation of my civil rights.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • May 18 2013: R H,
    let me first say, I really admire your conviction.

    Ok, getting into debate mode...

    Big companies have big secrets. God forbid their employers were to act in any way human, and share an opinion or possess a state of mind or anything during work hours! No, that kind of thing is not acceptable. If only robots would hurry up and get invented, they'd have no worries...

    Because, what do big companies fear most? Not bankruptcy, because someone will bail them out. No, they fear losing their 'edge', the thing that sets them apart. When their employees leave the office, there goes their Big Brother position. What will that employee say to someone else about what goes on in the office? Who knows how the other businesses are tapping into information... An employee will talk, if the price is right... Loyalty, shmoyalty.

    Once you sign that contract, you sign away your identity. No matter where you are, or what you're doing, your top priority is not you, not your family, not even your job - it's the all-seeing omnipresent thing called 'the place you work for'. You are where you work.
    • thumb

      R H 30+

      • 0
      May 18 2013: This why it's a 'civil rights' issue. 'Loyalty' has become serfdom, and freedom, that so many have died to insure, is undermined. Yet, where are the patroits to defend us? Where are our 'representatives'? They are in the board rooms, strategizing for the next campaign fundraiser.
      • May 19 2013: R H
        I took the State of Arizona to Federal Court on a Civil Right's issue, and I won.
        They had cheated by treating me badly a number of different ways during their
        law suit with myself.

        Never got a dime back for my Attorney Fees from Arizona courts.
        They guard the money well. Once they have it, you don't get it.

        You will find it tough to find a Federal Judge to allow you into his courtroom
        with this kind of issue. Call it 'civil rights', but you are wrong.
      • May 19 2013: R H
        Next time you have a contract to sign. Read it, mull it over, then draw a line through
        those parts you disagree with. Initial and date the ends of the lines, sign it, if you
        were going to, and hand it back for the other party to sign. Make sure you get a
        signed copy, before you leave.

        The shock value is worth the deed.
        • thumb

          R H 30+

          • 0
          May 19 2013: That's the rub, isn't it? Since employment is 'at will', we have 'a choice'. Our choice is not to work for large successful profitable companies because they can exercise their right to, effectively, control my personal life. So if I am qualified to get, and want, a great job, I potentially could lose civil liberties. And that's my 'choice', to have my livelihood threatened at the expense of civil liberty. Shouldn't that be against the law?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.