Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blogger busted

The author of the "La Petite Anglaise" blog, a 33-year-old British woman named Catherine who has called Paris home for the past ten years and who was working as a bilingual secretary for a British firm, was fired from her position after her employer learned about her blog. Catherine has decided not to take the decision lying down: she is suing. The lawsuit is viewed "as a test case in France," where firings are rare due to the "strong legal protections" for employees. That hasn't been the case in the United States, where I've read and posted about several incidents of employees being disciplined and fired for what they write in their personal blogs. The best known case of this of course is Heather B. Armstrong, the author who was fired from her job in 2002 after it was discovered that she had written about situations involving her
co-workers on her blog.

Catherine was very careful with her blog, never revealing where she worked or her last name. By her own description, most of what she wrote was "fairly humorous anecdotes about things that happened to me," incidents such as the time she fell down the stairs and another where she inadvertently exposed her cleavage on a video conference screen.

Her employer, an accounting firm named Dixon Wilson, contends that Catherine damaged their reputation and that a "loss of trust" was involved in the decision to fire her. The firm also contends that Catherine had admitted lying about the reasons for work absences and for updating her blog during work hours.

The day Catherine made the announcement of her firing, her blog received 10,000 hits. I dream of getting that many, but I definitely don't want to get them the same way she did.


Anonymous Kristine said...

interesting. I wonder if France has "at will" employment. I can see why they could potentially have issues w/ her updating her blog during business hours.

12:49 PM  

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