Stecyk

NYC Ballet considers social media guidelines

85 posts in this topic

I'm sorry but I really don't see your point, and drawing parallels between Alberda & Galliano is a tad specious.

This conversation betweeen you and me is boring. So I am not going to continue this conversation much further.

If you go back to my initial response, I simply demonstrated that it is possible for others to write or say something and have a dramatic effect on his or her audience or customers. Nothing more, nothing less.

AS to the last request (see above emphasising on my part) I'll do my best, but maybe it's time to be a tad less precious, I assumed that anyone reading my response would know it was my emphasising a point I wanted to respond to.

You know what they say about assuming. Besides, it is proper practice when altering someone's quote to indicate any and all changes.

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Simon, Since some readers seem to be missing your tone, intention, and meaning today, including me (see above posts) and it seems to offend, I will be explicit and ask your meaning of the following phrases contained in your last post:

"class libel action" - what exactly is that?

men "dressing their wives" - ???

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I daresay it's for precisely this reason that the new guidelines are in place. Where a dancer can pass personal information that will directly impact on attendance and ticket sales - should a dancer's disclosure of third party information harm the company and its financial takings at box office, then that must be a good reason for sacking.

This is in fact, not true. This has to do with disclosure of personal health information, and privacy in the workplace. While I won't speculate on whether or not the lack of disclosure could be "gamed" for incremental financial benefit, whether or not it does is irrelevant to the policy itself.

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I daresay it's for precisely this reason that the new guidelines are in place. Where a dancer can pass personal information that will directly impact on attendance and ticket sales - should a dancer's disclosure of third party information harm the company and its financial takings at box office, then that must be a good reason for sacking.

This is in fact, not true. This has to do with disclosure of personal health information, and privacy in the workplace. While I won't speculate on whether or not the lack of disclosure could be "gamed" for incremental financial benefit, whether or not it does is irrelevant to the policy itself.

When NYCB Dancer A gives an interview to New York City Dance Critic B or "Dance Magazine" or writes a book and says "I didn't/can't dance Role 123 because my partner was/is injured/sick/pregnant at the time", is that covered by the same policy? If it is an issue of disclosure of personal health information, then it seems to me that it should apply more to companies themselves than to dancers, since it is a disclosure made by an employer.

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When NYCB Dancer A gives an interview to New York City Dance Critic B or "Dance Magazine" or writes a book and says "I didn't/can't dance Role 123 because my partner was/is injured/sick/pregnant at the time", is that covered by the same policy? If it is an issue of disclosure of personal health information, then it seems to me that it should apply more to companies themselves than to dancers, since it is a disclosure made by an employer.

It's hard to respond precisely as you've actually thrown about a dozen different variables into the situation you describe, each with its own nuance (Past or current injury, previously known or not, time to publication, how specific the diagnostic information is being revealed and if someone was pregnant at the time - the outcome is certainly very public or very private).

Nuances make social media policies challenging.

I will say that in the most likely situation that we're discussing here, 1.) there are also legal/HR issues involved in disclosing this information and b.) what we're really talking about is current injuries or health issues, that have not been made public, and such a restriction is ultimately for the benefit and protection of the privacy of the dancers.

Think about it, if you were a dancer and just went down with a knee injury, would you want your company members sharing that information with the world? Would you even want to worry about this information being disclosed?

There are often gray areas when trying to come up with an effective social media policy, but this is not one of them.

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When NYCB Dancer A gives an interview to New York City Dance Critic B or "Dance Magazine" or writes a book and says "I didn't/can't dance Role 123 because my partner was/is injured/sick/pregnant at the time", is that covered by the same policy? If it is an issue of disclosure of personal health information, then it seems to me that it should apply more to companies themselves than to dancers, since it is a disclosure made by an employer.

It's hard to respond precisely as you've actually thrown about a dozen different variables into the situation you describe, each with its own nuance (Past or current injury, previously known or not, time to publication, how specific the diagnostic information is being revealed and if someone was pregnant at the time - the outcome is certainly very public or very private).

Nuances make social media policies challenging.

I will say that in the most likely situation that we're discussing here, 1.) there are also legal/HR issues involved in disclosing this information and b.) what we're really talking about is current injuries or health issues, that have not been made public, and such a restriction is ultimately for the benefit and protection of the privacy of the dancers.

Think about it, if you were a dancer and just went down with a knee injury, would you want your company members sharing that information with the world? Would you even want to worry about this information being disclosed?

There are often gray areas when trying to come up with an effective social media policy, but this is not one of them.

Dancer A could announce that Dancer B won't dance on the weekend without explaining why, and this would meet the goal of protecting ticket purchasers who want to see Dancer B but not Dancer C, while also advancing the goal of maintaining privacy, without defrauding the consumer, by misleading ticket purchasers into thinking they were buying tickets to see Dancer B. If Dancer B comes back to dance the next week, the ticket purchasers will still have funds available to purchase tickets, which fund have not been spent on tickets to see Dancer C which were not desired. The company may not achieve a financial gain of selling tickets to the less popular Dancer C's performance, but the company will not have lost good will or defrauded its audience, on which it depends and which it serves, either.

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Nuances make social media policies challenging.

I will say that in the most likely situation that we're discussing here, 1.) there are also legal/HR issues involved in disclosing this information and b.) what we're really talking about is current injuries or health issues, that have not been made public, and such a restriction is ultimately for the benefit and protection of the privacy of the dancers.

Think about it, if you were a dancer and just went down with a knee injury, would you want your company members sharing that information with the world? Would you even want to worry about this information being disclosed?

There are often gray areas when trying to come up with an effective social media policy, but this is not one of them.

In the article you cited, there are three tenets:

1. It respects the needs of all of an organization’s stakeholders.

2. It recognizes that transparency is essential.

3. It is inherently flexible.

I don't think your comment that speaking about an injury is never gray follows both the need to protect all stakeholders and the need for transparency.

For example, Dancer A has been rehearsing a new role and announces this on Facebook or Twitter. Dancer A does not appear in this role, because I injured my knee in rehearsal, and it's company knowledge since I did it in rehearsal. The new cast will be printed in the program, hence no substitution slip or curtain announcement. Dancer A is interviewed in "The New York Times" before the premiere and is asked "Why aren't you dancing the role?"

According to this social policy, either Dancer A can tell the interviewer that he isn't dancing the role because I suffered a knee injury, because "The New York Times" is not Facebook or Twitter, or these guidelines cover all media, and I can't tell NYT why I didn't dance the role. It also makes little sense that Critic A can find out the info from any source and not disclose the source, and publish it in a book or article, but it can't come from the person it impacted.

I might not want my knee injury to be public knowledge, but I also might want a pony: my injury has impacted a co-worker, and until there is clear law or precedent by case, or there isn't a human resources procedure for discussing injury under any circumstances, which includes the NYT or a documentary, I shouldn't have the right to take away my co-worker's announcement/description of that impact on his/her career. Speculation, on the other hand, is where the nuance comes in; for example, when he posts that I probably injured my knee because I'm anorexic, party all night, or came to rehearsal drunk, as does how I found out about the injury (eyewitnesses or company announcement vs. my best friend telling Dancer B's best friend).

If I am working for a company, and I can't complete a presentation and a co-worker has to give up his/her weekend to do my work, my co-worker has the right to post on Facebook -- the NYT wouldn't be at all interested -- that I came back from a business trip and was too exhausted to finish, or had too much on my plate (the message given to co-worker by me or boss), that co-worker has the right to post that on Facebook. I don't see why it should be any different for Diana Adams' colleagues to discuss Diana Adams' miscarriages and their impact on their careers/the company at length in interviews and memoirs, especially after she's dead and can't comment, than it is for someone to discuss the impact of someone's illness or injury now.

Whether it makes sense to do so is another story. Dancers have to maintain relationships with each other, and regardless of whether what they right is well within policy, they bear the consequences of telling the public, just as they bear the social consequences of passing on supposed secrets among each other. Dancers, like any other co-workers, can be tactful and give just enough info to be contextual, or they can be unthinking or think they are being more clever than they are. They can write about things that only affect them tangentially. What they can't do is claim to be misquoted when they write it on their own.

If anyone should be restricted from disclosing illness or injury to the public from a legal point of view, it should be the employer, and ballet companies do it all the time, if selectively.

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For example, Dancer A has been rehearsing a new role and announces this on Facebook or Twitter. Dancer A does not appear in this role, because I injured my knee in rehearsal, and it's company knowledge since I did it in rehearsal. The new cast will be printed in the program, hence no substitution slip or curtain announcement. Dancer A is interviewed in "The New York Times" before the premiere and is asked "Why aren't you dancing the role?"

That's the dancer disclosing their own information. Different. As far as the specifics on how this information is disclosed (slips, press releases, etc), I can't comment on the merits of how each company handles disseminating the information.

According to this social policy, either Dancer A can tell the interviewer that he isn't dancing the role because I suffered a knee injury, because "The New York Times" is not Facebook or Twitter, or these guidelines cover all media, and I can't tell NYT why I didn't dance the role. It also makes little sense that Critic A can find out the info from any source and not disclose the source, and publish it in a book or article, but it can't come from the person it impacted.

If implemented correctly, the guidelines should cover all media, and make no differentiation between a public fb account or a twitter account versus the NYT. Also, I'm not saying that these disclosures or rules are necessarily followed as written. I know quite a few writers who conduct interviews without going through "proper" channels.

I might not want my knee injury to be public knowledge, but I also might want a pony: my injury has impacted a co-worker, and until there is clear law or precedent by case, or there isn't a human resources procedure for discussing injury under any circumstances, which includes the NYT or a documentary, I shouldn't have the right to take away my co-worker's announcement/description of that impact on his/her career. Speculation, on the other hand, is where the nuance comes in; for example, when he posts that I probably injured my knee because I'm anorexic, party all night, or came to rehearsal drunk, as does how I found out about the injury (eyewitnesses or company announcement vs. my best friend telling Dancer B's best friend).

1. There is law.

2. There is HR procedure.

3. The situations you describe are unlikely to be covered by the policy, since they typically occur far after the fact.

If I am working for a company, and I can't complete a presentation and a co-worker has to give up his/her weekend to do my work, my co-worker has the right to post on Facebook -- the NYT wouldn't be at all interested -- that I came back from a business trip and was too exhausted to finish, or had too much on my plate (the message given to co-worker by me or boss), that co-worker has the right to post that on Facebook. I don't see why it should be any different for Diana Adams' colleagues to discuss Diana Adams' miscarriages and their impact on their careers/the company at length in interviews and memoirs, especially after she's dead and can't comment, than it is for someone to discuss the impact of someone's illness or injury now.

Generally speaking, a FB personal account is a different beast, because there is much more control over the information. The type of situation you're talking about actually does have a recent precedent and IS protected: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2010/11/15/facebook-new-water-cooler/ The nuance comes in when you have dancers with FB accounts where they aren't protective of their privacy, and are "friending" fans, journalists and people whom they don't know. With dancers more so than typical private individuals, there is a tendency to accept friend requests from a lot of different people who aren't personal friends, which means the information is being made public. As it relates to Diana Adams, there is a difference between discussing something after it's known, versus being the one to make that disclosure as it's happening.

Whether it makes sense to do so is another story. Dancers have to maintain relationships with each other, and regardless of whether what they right is well within policy, they bear the consequences of telling the public, just as they bear the social consequences of passing on supposed secrets among each other. Dancers, like any other co-workers, can be tactful and give just enough info to be contextual, or they can be unthinking or think they are being more clever than they are. They can write about things that only affect them tangentially. What they can't do is claim to be misquoted when they write it on their own.

If anyone should be restricted from disclosing illness or injury to the public from a legal point of view, it should be the employer, and ballet companies do it all the time, if selectively.

On this last point, it's not a question of employer or employee, as they both fall under the umbrella of "workplace", and those who are in the workplace can and should be governed when it comes to disclosing information learned or generated within the workplace environment. Whether it comes from a dancer operating in the workplace, or a PR staffer is not a distinction that should (or can) be made. And yes, even in a twitter environment, de facto misquoting can still take place, because a single tweet can easily be taken out of its context and given a different interpretation(which is exactly what happened with one of the more "controversial" tweets in this case).

Ultimately, one of the reasons that I favor social media policies/guidelines is that it's a great opportunity to refresh everyone's understanding of what some of these policies are, and what the thought process and legal implications are behind them.

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If anyone should be restricted from disclosing illness or injury to the public from a legal point of view, it should be the employer, and ballet companies do it all the time, if selectively.

On this last point, it's not a question of employer or employee, as they both fall under the umbrella of "workplace", and those who are in the workplace can and should be governed when it comes to disclosing information learned or generated within the workplace environment. Whether it comes from a dancer operating in the workplace, or a PR staffer is not a distinction that should (or can) be made.

Not quite. The PR staffer is a professional and knows whether the affected dancer has okayed publicizing his/her condition and acts accordingly. A performing colleague is less likely to understand the "rules" or implications, nor should s/he be expected to.

Ultimately, one of the reasons that I favor social media policies/guidelines is that it's a great opportunity to refresh everyone's understanding of what some of these policies are, and what the thought process and legal implications are behind them.
This is true. But I can't help but find it ironic that instead of dealing with this quietly in a company meeting, the Powers decided to take it on so publicly in the press. :toot:

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The PR staffer is a professional and knows whether the affected dancer has okayed publicizing his/her condition and acts accordingly. A performing colleague is less likely to understand the "rules" or implications, nor should s/he be expected to.

Absolutely.

This is true. But I can't help but find it ironic that instead of dealing with this quietly in a company meeting, the Powers decided to take it on so publicly in the press. :toot:

I could be overinterpreting the language of the original article, but my sense is that the draft policy was leaked.

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I don't think anything an individual dancer posts or says would have a significant influence on whether audience members continuing going to the ballet.

Without meaning to be mean, do you think what a fashion designer is allegedly to have said while in an inebriated state would affect what fashioniestas wear?

As we have seen, a few misplaced evil comments can ruin a person, his reputation, and his work. Luckily, the team--in this case a company--simply terminated him.

Words combined with media are powerful.

I'm not sure if you're referring to an actual or hypothetical situation (I have no fashion sense whatsoever, so I'm not familiar with the fashion industry), but I think it would largely depend on the situation. I'm going to venture out on a limb and say no - it likely would not affect fashionistas. However, depending on what the comments were (say if they were racist, derogatory, vulgar, politically insensitive, morally outrageous, etc), there may be a little bit of fallout (say if some fashionistas started a boycott or something).

What I meant about audience turnout not being affected by one dancer's comment was meant as a comparison to pro athletes and their comments. In sports, the winners are not predetermined. If an athlete alleges that referee Bob is fixing games, what is the point of going to watch Bob call fouls and goaltending when there are none? The situation is different in ballet (and arts). There's no "endpoint", so to speak - you're there to watch the process and the story (or lack of story, as the case may be). Even if dancer Joe alleges that his AD was biased and picks favorites, would that affect the production itself? The only examples I can think of where a dancer's comment may hurt audience turnout would be either a) blatantly offensive comments (like the categories I stated above) or b) dancer states that the production (choreography, music selection, dancing, costumes, whatever) are hideous and that no one should waste his/her time coming to see the ballet.

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I'm not sure if you're referring to an actual or hypothetical situation (I have no fashion sense whatsoever, so I'm not familiar with the fashion industry), but I think it would largely depend on the situation. I'm going to venture out on a limb and say no - it likely would not affect fashionistas. However, depending on what the comments were (say if they were racist, derogatory, vulgar, politically insensitive, morally outrageous, etc), there may be a little bit of fallout (say if some fashionistas started a boycott or something).

What I meant about audience turnout not being affected by one dancer's comment was meant as a comparison to pro athletes and their comments. In sports, the winners are not predetermined. If an athlete alleges that referee Bob is fixing games, what is the point of going to watch Bob call fouls and goaltending when there are none? The situation is different in ballet (and arts). There's no "endpoint", so to speak - you're there to watch the process and the story (or lack of story, as the case may be). Even if dancer Joe alleges that his AD was biased and picks favorites, would that affect the production itself? The only examples I can think of where a dancer's comment may hurt audience turnout would be either a) blatantly offensive comments (like the categories I stated above) or b) dancer states that the production (choreography, music selection, dancing, costumes, whatever) are hideous and that no one should waste his/her time coming to see the ballet.

We agree GretchenStar that, depending upon the severity of the comments, comments might adversely affect audience turnout. I am sure you and I and others would agree on the extreme cases. It's where the lines are blurred and gray that it becomes more difficult.

Thank you for your comment.

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As I was reading another article, I thought of this thread.

Secrets From Apple's Genius Bar: Full Loyalty, No Negativity

Wall Street Journal Online (subscription might be required).

15 June 2011

By YUKARI IWATANI KANE And IAN SHERR

With their airy interiors and attractive lighting, Apple's stores project a carefree and casual atmosphere. Yet Apple keeps a tight lid on how they operate. Employees are ordered to not discuss rumors about products, technicians are forbidden from prematurely acknowledging widespread glitches and anyone caught writing about the Cupertino, Calif., company on the Internet is fired, according to current and former employees.
[emphasis added]

I am not surprised. Apple is famous for keeping a lid on its information and maintaining or elevating its reputation.

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I just briefly scanned over this thread, and I have mixed feelings. I agree with not sharing information about other dancers' physical ailments, injuries, etc. over whatever desired media outlet. That is a violation of HIPAA law. I work in the healthcare industry, and intentionally disclosing someones personal information without his or her consent (as innocent as it may be) is a federal crime, with fees and jail time and lose of license... not good. The evolution of technology is making life more difficult yet easy at the same time, Paradoxical...

But, the brief part I read about changing the Chinese Tea and Arabian Coffee in the Nutcracker... That's chancging a tradition thats been that way for how many hundred years, and didnt offend anyone.... now everyones too worried about being politically correct, to the point we WILL become "IBM Machines" lol, i like how I tied two different threads together at the end :)

Well, thats my take...

Meesh

"It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer."

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For those interested, an article by Melanie Trottman of the WSJ: When a Facebook Rant Gets You Fired.

Workers fired or disciplined for bad-mouthing employers on social-networking sites are fighting back using a decades-old labor law—a new front in the murky battle over what workers can do and say online.

Since the rise of Facebook and Twitter, companies believed they had the right to fire employees who posted complaints or hostile or rude comments online about their employers.

But in recent months, workers have sought to solve their very modern employment predicament by using the law that kick-started the U.S. labor movement: the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. The law gives private-sector employees certain rights to complain about pay, safety and other working conditions. It doesn't protect simple griping.

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I wouldn't want to work for a company that violates the terms & conditions of a site or asks someone to violate their user agreement, short of having a subpoena to view a site, and I certainly wouldn't donate to a 501-c-3 organization who is disclosed as having done so.

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Here's yet another sad tale. Justine Sacco, the communications director for InterActiveCorp, is alleged to have made some rather unfortunate comments on Twitter that resulted in her termination of employment.

For those interested, you can read the New York Times article A Twitter Message About AIDS, Followed by a Firing and an Apology. If the article is unavailable, you can find lots of other stories by Googling her name.

On Friday, IAC officials quickly responded to the Twitter post, putting out a statement that called it “an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC.” But it said it could not contact Ms. Sacco. “Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”

By Saturday afternoon, Ms. Sacco was no longer an employee at IAC. The company’s statement also said:

There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally. We hope, however, that time and action, and the forgiving human spirit, will not result in the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core.

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Considering that she was a PUBLIC RELATIONS EXECUTIVE, they are well rid of her!

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A friend pointed this out to me and I was gobsmacked -- the comments were so clueless!

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This past weekend, Jian Ghomeshi was dismissed from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation under rather unfortunate circumstances.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/jian-ghomeshi-host-of-q-no-longer-with-cbc-1.2813670

"The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an end. This decision was not made without serious deliberation and careful consideration. Jian has made an immense contribution to the CBC and we wish him well," the network said in a statement.

If you search the internet or read Ghomeshi's Facebook account (linked to save you the effort), you'll learn that there are some rather unsavoury allegations about his personal life. For the purposes of this post, we need not go there. But what is interesting are the legal considerations. CBC fired Ghomeshi, and Ghomeshi has hired a PR firm and a law firm to protect his reputation and sue CBC.

I enjoyed Howard Levitt's article in the Financial Post Jian Ghomeshi’s CBC lawsuit is hopeless — even if he’s telling the truth.

Quite apart from the fact that his actual damages likely do not exceed 2% of that figure, unionized bargaining-unit employees (as CBC broadcasters are) can’t sue in court for wrongful dismissal. This suit will almost certainly be quickly struck down by the courts without Ghomeshi recovering a penny.

...

In this era of obsession with privacy, there is actually less privacy than ever. Every employee should assume that everything he or she does, inside work and outside, public or private, could end up being revealed to an employer. Any other assumption is foolhardy.

...

It is interesting that Ghomeshi is issuing a $50-million claim against CBC, while simultaneously declaring his historic loyalty to and love for it. The reality is, as he must also know, that suit will go nowhere. As a unionized employee, he cannot sue the CBC in court but is stuck with having to grieve through the arbitration process.

...

Arbitrators (and judges) have increasingly resisted reinstating employees who, in the public mind, represent the employer and its goodwill, including radio and television hosts. It is one thing to force a factory to rehire an assembly-line worker. But arbitrators are more loath to force a television station to put someone on the air as its representative who no longer reflects its style, approach or desired image.

So my two takeaways from this article are as follows: one, unionized employees may be at a disadvantage when arguing constructive or wrongful dismissal; and two, the lines between private and public conduct have blurred, especially for those whose face or personality represents the company.

Thus, if an employee's conduct disparages a company's reputation, the employee is not in a good spot.

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I've heard his radio show several times and thought he was an effective interviewer -- it does seem that he's being punished for personal choices. I understand the labor law aspects of the situation, but it does seem unfair.

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I've heard his radio show several times and thought he was an effective interviewer -- it does seem that he's being punished for personal choices. I understand the labor law aspects of the situation, but it does seem unfair.

With the caveat that everything we've heard so far -- with the exception of the fact of the firing itself -- has yet to be substantiated (and that includes Ghomeshi's own account of his behavior), some of the allegations include workplace sexual harassment. That is a punishable offense.

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So my two takeaways from this article are as follows: one, unionized employees may be at a disadvantage when arguing constructive or wrongful dismissal; and two, the lines between private and public conduct have blurred, especially for those whose face or personality represents the company.

Thus, if an employee's conduct disparages a company's reputation, the employee is not in a good spot.

In the US at least, unionized employees would most likely seek redress for wrongful termination through their union's formal grievance process, which isn't necessarily a disadvantage even though it doesn't have the headline éclat of a $50 million lawsuit. (And - ahem - may not require the services of an attorney specializing in employment law, which is what Howard Levitt is.)

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