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  • R H
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States


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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.


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    May 22 2013: RH you making a mountain out of nothing, that is only in the contract for their protection.
    Yes you have the right to free speech, but shouldn’t a company have right to let go an employee that bad months them or their customers on their personal face-book page?
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      R H 30+

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      May 22 2013: Thanks Don. I don't feel I'm making 'a mountain'. It's a friendly debate. I'm merely debating the points, trying to keep 'emotion' out of it. Anything having to do with corp data, intel, customers, or statements of the company on social media should follow the normal rules of libel and slander - and yes, even 'loyalty'. I will cede that type of communication as not protected by civil rights, as that was not my intention and what everyone seems to be focusing on. But my private 'conduct as a reflection on the company' in off-hours is very real, and my livelihood is threatened by this arbitrary interpretation of what the corp feels is acceptable personal 'conduct' vs. what I am free to do by law as a citizen in a free society, all because employment is viewed as voluntary. I guess this is about corp 'image enforcement' on employees when they are not on the job, and whether or not it is legal. I happen to feel it is a violation of my rights as a citizen. No one has supported my side of this debate. Everyone seems to feel that the corp does have the right to fire someone if they disagree with their personal choices while not on the job - and this is currently true. I don't see it, but that's debate. Cheers!

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