My Musings on Life, Happenings Etc. Etc.

I decided to create this blog to do what everyone else does on the internet, Bitch about stuff that annoys them. From Movies, Life as a Yankee living in the South, Conversations I've had with people, Observations about random things. As always I plan to do this all in my unique sarcastic euphemistic way.

The Time is......

Thursday, November 17, 2011

First Amendment Violation?

Recently a co-worker informed me that she'd been been asked to come into the office for a talk. Once there she was questioned about a fairly common and innocuous Facebook post she'd made regarding her work day the day prior. The post which I didn't read, but was told was something akin to: "Had a really rough one at work, customers can really be demanding sometimes!". Though she didn't state where she was talking about, her work information on Facebook plainly states where she is employed and how long she's been there. Management instructed her to remove the post from her Facebook page when she returned home that day, which she did.

I am of the opinion that, unless it involves specific people (i.e. My manager Mr. John Doe is a complete and total incompetent asshole!) there is no cause for the request made by the management. I understand and have myself signed a confidentiality statement which clearly outlines what can, should and should not be shared when it comes to company business when outside of the workplace. Though in this case I feel that management over stepped their bounds.

Further, after hearing about this incident, I asked one of my managers about the incident, not naming names, in the same fashion that I have done here. I was told that "Home office is drafting a policy about that, but I don't know too much about it."

Correct me if I am wrong here, but stating that you had a rough day at work is not damaging to the workplace and also stating that some customers are overly demanding, isn't damaging either. We've all been in a store, where there is a mother with three children, who are not behaving themselves as mom argues with the cashier over the price of Peas. Or maybe you the reader are the Mom arguing with a manager about why the store you're shopping at doesn't honor internet pricing from their own website while your children destroy displays and cause mischief.

What concerns me is that a workplace is attempting to control their employees behavior while they are not on the clock, nor even on company property. They are telling one of their employees what they can or cannot say on their Facebook status' In my book the company who believes that they can tell people that they pay for eight hours of their time several days a week, what they can and cannot say while they are in their own homes is a violation of the constitution. The fact that the Main Offices of such an establishment are crafting a policy on the subject disturbs me greatly.

The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

I ask this; What kind of establishment holds itself in higher regard than the ruling document of the country in which it was founded, resides and operates? No institution which operates in this country (The United States of America for anyone reading this who is not from here) has the authority to revoke your constitutional right of free speech. There are a few exceptions to this, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) which is a law itself.
I personally would have refused such a request, though admittedly I do not have my place of employment listed anywhere on any of my profiles. If the new "Policy" is passed and enacted, I am certain that other companies will follow in the future. As a free citizen of this country I openly and vehemently oppose this type of fascist behavior from established organizations and will argue the point of it as long as necessary. I'd love to hear others thoughts and opinions on this subject specifically.