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Thread: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    You guys know I'm not a big fan of lawsuits. But the case here is pretty clear-cut. He was off duty, being Joe Citizen and protested. He works for a Gov't Agency, so that means punitive actions taken against him BY the NJ Transit are bound by the Constitution. In this case, he was fired for using his Right to Free Speech in a civilian capacity. That's what is the issue here.

    If he worked for Bob's Toll Booths Inc. this would be an entirely different story. Private companies are not Gov't Agents and thus punitive measures by them are NOT bound by the Constitution. (General rule, obviously there are civil rights, and other areas this applies) however, in the case of Free Speech this is not so.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by texmaster View Post
    He should. They are making a mockery of his right to free speech.
    He has the right to free speech. His employers has the right to fire him if they don't like what he is saying. There is no such thing as a right to a job.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    He has the right to free speech. His employers has the right to fire him if they don't like what he is saying. There is no such thing as a right to a job.
    Funny how Free Speech works when he works for THE GOV'T!
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    On what planet does the transit authority run a country?
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    On what planet does the transit authority run a country?
    Listen to yourself. Do you really not understand how a Gov't Agency is representing the Gov't and thus is bound in ways a Private Company is not?

    I think you do, you're just spinning because you can't bring yourself to offer support to the guy because his actions offend you. That's dishonest, and you should be ashamed.
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    He has the right to free speech. His employers has the right to fire him if they don't like what he is saying. There is no such thing as a right to a job.
    His employer is the government. And the government can't fire him for this.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    His employer is the government. And the government can't fire him for this.
    If he's bound by a Code of Ethics that says he can't participate in demonstrations/whatever, he's toast. "Morals Clauses" and the like are perfectly legal. Totally depends how it's worded. And whether or not it's part of the Employee Handbook.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Unless you want to argue that every single government employee represents the government 24/7, this guy was not there representing NJTransit.

    Step away from this situation and imagine what would happen if the position you're arguing for were actually the law. Imagine if GWB had decreed that anyone employed by the federal government in any capacity would be fired if they ever objected to any administration policies in public. Under your theory, because no one has a right to work for the government, that decree would not violate anyone's first amendment rights. That's clearly not how the first amendment was designed to work.
    This isn't about disagreeing with government policy, it's about showing hatred toward a particular group. Why would the government want an employee that doesn't show general respect to the public? How do they know he's not already showing negative bias toward Muslim customers?

    Again, the guy doesn't have a right to work for the government.

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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Such a code of ethics for government employees, in their off-time, as long as they are not representing their agency, would fail the constitutional litmus test. Just because it's in the handbook doesn't make it legal.

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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    If he's bound by a Code of Ethics that says he can't participate in demonstrations/whatever, he's toast. "Morals Clauses" and the like are perfectly legal. Totally depends how it's worded. And whether or not it's part of the Employee Handbook.
    The problem I have with this is that he was doing this on his own free time. If he was doing this, and involved his employer in any way then I could see where that could be used. I would like to read the part of the Code of Ethics, I wonder if it's available?
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