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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

    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.
    Yes, but the government cannot discriminate on the basis of exercising rights.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Well, Winston, with all due respect you are asking a hypothetical that I don't think has a standard answer for all people, that said, I guess it would depend on the Church or Temple, or Mosque that employed her, or him in the end, and why they fired them, if they indeed did. That doesn't mean that the action wouldn't go without challenge should someone be let go in that situation. And, it also depends on too many other factors to answer accurately.

    What I think doesn't matter, only what the employer does.


    j-mac
    Yeah it is a tough one that is for sure. Personally I think it is full of a ton of gray.

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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.
    It doesn't really matter what the ethics handbook says, as the state is still bound by the first amendment. Just because the handbook might say "we will fire you for XYZ" doesn't mean that the state can actually fire you for XYZ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    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.
    He has a right not to be punished by the government for exercising protected speech. Firing him for saying this is a punishment. This is almost certainly protected speech.

    Edit: Eliminate "koran" from the story and substitute in "bible/american flag/picture of GWB/republican or democratic symbol." That guy would be showing the same "hate" toward a particular group each time and could certainly make each group feel uncomfortable. Should the government be able to fire him because of that?
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 09-15-10 at 02:42 PM.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Incredibly dumb move by NJ transit. Regardless of what their employee handbook says, this is pretty clearly protected speech.


    I agree. though I think open flames in NYC is a misdemeanor.
    Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    I have the right to call someone a nigger or a spic if I want - purely racist terms. That's protected the 1st Amendment.
    However - if I worked for the state or federal government and said these things it would be quite understandable when they let me go, or when they pushed me to resign.
    Randomly shouting racial slurs at other individuals would be hard pressed to be considered a political statement and thus protected speech. Hell, I think if you're shouting racial slurs at someone it could technically be assult in some places.

    A more accurate example would be if you were at a political rally holding a sign that says "N-Words shouldn't vote". In that case, no, if you're a government employee you shouldn't get fired for it.

    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.
    This would be absolutely true, if he wasn't a government employee.

    As a government employee, he can not be fired for exercising speech outside of his duties for the government that are political in nature. Would it be okay if a NY transit worker burnt a copy of the Patriot Act back under Bush and he was fired? No.

    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.
    "Codes of Ethics" are a little lower on the priority level in regards to legality than the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Political Speech is protected from punishment by the government.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Tell Xerox and others:
    Last I looked Xerox was private sector.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Tell Xerox and others:


    http://www.xerox.com/downloads/usa/e...eeHandbook.pdf

    Not sure it's that cut-and-dried.
    We aren't talking about Xerox. We're talking about a quasi-governmental organization.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    I hope he sues the everlovin **** out them for this.
    do you know what their code of ethics states?

    Originally Posted by johnny_rebson:

    These are the same liberals who forgot how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.


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

    Quote Originally Posted by liblady View Post
    do you know what their code of ethics states?
    It doesn't matter.

    If their code of ethics said you can't own a gun in you private life they couldn't fire someone for owning a gun either.

    A government agencies code of ethics does not trump the Constitution

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    Funny how Free Speech works when he works for THE GOV'T!
    That's how free speech works when you work anywhere. If your employee believes that your actions may damage their reputation they are not only within their legal right to FIRE you, it is essential that they do to set an example.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    That's how free speech works when you work anywhere. If your employee believes that your actions may damage their reputation they are not only within their legal right to FIRE you, it is essential that they do to set an example.
    Right has linked to a number of things in this thread showing this is not true. I can tell you as a federal employee we are specifically given training informing us we are absolutely free to engage in whatever political activism we wish, without using our position, on our own free time free of any potential repercussion regardless of what said political activity is sans federal crimes (IE trying to overthrow the government).

    The government CAN NOT fire you for expressing a political view

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