We should be able to separate the speech we make as individuals with our jobs at work. That is to say, as individuals, we should be able to engage in free speech without it effecting our employment. Specifically what I mean is, if I am a raging liberal, like myself, or a raging Republican, like some of you, it is my right to be vocal or active about my politics and I should not be subject to discrimination because of it. I’d expand this to include not just my politics but my religion, my hobbies or any other legal behavior I engage in. So if I’m gay, or a buddhist or belong to the Tax Payer’s League, I should be free to live my life.
Now if someone blogs about how their boss is stupid and the company they work for sucks and such, they need to know that what they are saying will be heard as if said, in person, to the boss. Word gets around, people Google and poof, a little rant on your blog is being discussed by the boss. So that’s just stupid.
But other examples are not. Being gay, for example, or an atheist or even, perhaps, a born again Christian. Being interested in Harleys or stamps or group sex should not be things, even if discoverable on the Internet, that influence your employment.
Yes, there are grey lines here. If an employee agrees to some code of conduct prior to accepting a job, an employer can reasonably expect them to uphold it. In most cases, there is no such pre-agreement.
As someone who is very opinionated, I expect some potential clients for my company may Google me and disagree with me when they find this site. That’s fine. If they choose not to work with us because of my views, they are idiots. I can easily separate my work from my life and I would never not work with a company because I disagreed with an individual’s politics or views.
I hope you agree.