A California company is offering a product to help employees avoid getting fired—or "dooced," to use the vernacular—because of their blogging or other website activities.
Fair Measures, Inc., says that for $24.95, its Blogger's Legal Toolkit will provide guidance to "help employee bloggers avoid getting sued, arrested, or fired from their jobs."
Employee Web logs, or blogs, have become increasingly common in the last few years. So have firings stemming from things employees wrote (or showed) in their blogs. One of the first and most famous cases involved Heather Armstrong, who was fired from her job as a Web designer and graphic artist because of satirical postings in her Web log, Dooce.com, about working at a dot-com startup. Hence the term "dooced," meaning to get fired because of content in a personal blog or other website.
Fair Measures, a provider of legal management training for managers and employees, says bloggers need to worry about such issues as defamation, hate crime laws, privacy laws, trade secrets, insider information, and copyright laws.
In addition, employee blogging could lead to being terminated for:
Fair Measures' toolkit includes a description of relevant laws and how they apply to typical blog postings, a checklist to apply to questionable statements, guidance on what to do if a statement could violate the law, and links to other legal resources for bloggers.
- Violating the employer's blogging policy
- Violating the employee's "duty of loyalty"
- Stating controversial opinions that harm the employer's reputation
- Violating antiharassment policies
- Admitting violations of the law
Source: Fair Measures, Inc.