JP Morgan Chase Bank in Manhattan fired an employee for blogging and writing novels in her spare-time, outside of work hours. In a twist, Marilyn Tagocon actually went to her HR department to make sure that her work didn’t violate a company policy barring personal political speech. When she was advised to pick her job or her books, she chose the books. And a lawsuit.
This is the kind of case that is going to clog up the courts for years to come as employees use litigation to force employers to address social media. A quick web search doesn’t reveal the subject of Tacogon’s writing (and she wrote under a pen name anyway), but if she was willing to go to her employer proactively to ensure her activities were within the boundaries of the policy, I can imagine that she felt there was nothing at stake in her writing that would affect for day-to-day activities at work. Of course, company policy supersedes what employees “feel” or “think,” and is in place to make sure that people don’t need to fall back on their individual beliefs in case they are involved in things the company doesn’t approve of. This will be an interesting case and should give Tacogon some great content for a future book.