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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

    Apparently, from what I've read, some restrictions apply to whether or not one can be fired for political views held / expressed [off the clock].
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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.
    So now bigots are a protected class??

    Teachers, cops, get booted for behavior outside of work. As do other public sector employees. You do something off-hours that raises questions about your character or ability to perform your job, then sure, here's your pink slip, asshole, have a nice life.

    Is it so hard to understand why we don't want someone whose rage toward Muslims is that out of control working for the transit dept.?? Please tell us you are able to wrap your head around that one...

    "He said, 'This is America,' and he wanted to stand up for it, in a Tea Party kind of way," a police source said.
    Oops... did he just say burning the Koran is the Tea Party way???

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

    He did.... Though john wayne gacey was a democrat party captian
    Last edited by ReverendHellh0und; 09-15-10 at 06:55 PM.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    So now bigots are a protected class??

    Teachers, cops, get booted for behavior outside of work. As do other public sector employees. You do something off-hours that raises questions about your character or ability to perform your job, then sure, here's your pink slip, asshole, have a nice life.

    Is it so hard to understand why we don't want someone whose rage toward Muslims is that out of control working for the transit dept.?? Please tell us you are able to wrap your head around that one...



    Oops... did he just say burning the Koran is the Tea Party way???

    It doesn't matter what he said. He could have burned the American flag, and I would still be against his firing if he was. You can't be fired for practicing one of your rights off duty when you work for the government. End of story.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    So now bigots are a protected class??
    I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
    Freedom and Liberty doesn't stop at just what you like hazlnut, I know that you don't understand that, but the rest of us do.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    The guy was an idiot for burning the koran. It's a meaningless gesture, and he had to know it wasn't going to go over well with people.

    That said, he absolutely has the right to do it. And although his firing was probably legal, it's still wrong. Hopefully he sues and wins.
    What I don't know is the following:

    Do the workers of NJ Transit have a union and does he have a contract? If there is a contract, the terms of the contract are relevant.
    What are the "wrongful termination" laws in New Jersey? In many states, even a private employer would not be able to fire for non-work relevant factors.
    How much of this is government funded?

    Without answers to these questions, I m going to reserve judgement, but my inclination is the support this man's right to be able to speak without losing his job over it.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    It doesn't matter what he said. He could have burned the American flag, and I would still be against his firing if he was. You can't be fired for practicing one of your rights off duty when you work for the government. End of story.
    I'm not sure I agree. You have the right to say what you want, but do you have the right to your job? Yes, it might be morally despicable to fire an otherwise good employee for their off-duty behavior, but a violation of rights? Is there a right to work?

    If this were a private sector job I'd be more sure on my opinion, but it is a public sector job so this puts me in the "Hrm, not sure" category.
    Last edited by Deuce; 09-15-10 at 09:11 PM.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    I'm not sure I agree. You have the right to say what you want, but do you have the right to your job? Yes, it might be morally despicable to fire an otherwise good employee for their off-duty behavior, but a violation of rights? Is there a right to work?

    If this were a private sector job I'd be more sure on my opinion, but it is a public sector job so this puts me in the "Hrm, not sure" category.
    The public sector issue is the key reason for it.

    Do the following....

    Replace Koran with:

    The Bible
    Dianetics
    The American Flag
    The Confederate Flag
    The Mexican Flag
    A reprinting USA Patriot Act
    A reprinting of the Stimulus bill
    The Democratic party Platform
    The Republican party Platform
    An image of George Bush
    An image of Barack Obama
    An image of Jesse Jackson
    An image of Jerry Farwell
    An Obama birth certificate
    A picture of the Twin Towers while wearing a Cheney mask

    Do any of you think it should be perfectly allowable for a government agency to fire a government employee that is not referencing or using his job in any way to do those things during his off time. If so, which ones exactly would you be fine with?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    So now bigots are a protected class??

    Teachers, cops, get booted for behavior outside of work. As do other public sector employees. You do something off-hours that raises questions about your character or ability to perform your job, then sure, here's your pink slip, asshole, have a nice life.

    Is it so hard to understand why we don't want someone whose rage toward Muslims is that out of control working for the transit dept.?? Please tell us you are able to wrap your head around that one...
    And yet you're completely wrong. The government cannot fire employees for engaging in protected speech. This is absolutely indisputable. The only question here is whether this particular speech is protected, and I think the evidence strongly indicates that it is.

    If you can't be bothered to read the links that have been provided to you or the explanations that have been proffered, I don't know what to tell you.
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 09-15-10 at 09:58 PM.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    It doesn't matter what he said. He could have burned the American flag, and I would still be against his firing if he was. You can't be fired for practicing one of your rights off duty when you work for the government. End of story.
    If cops were practicing free expression when they posed for playboy or playgirl, why were they fired? Their actions off duty reflects on the police department and per their professional code of conduct, those actions potentially have consequences.

    I'm sure the N.J. Transit office employs people of all faiths, and his presence will now be disruptive to the work environment. The state has a right to dictate an ethics code for its employees. Engaging in outrageous displays of hate speech is apparently a violation of that code. He was free to speak his mind, express himself. But as a government employee, that has consequences.

    As a government employee, you are supposed to be a guardian of civil rights like freedom of religion however it is expressed in your state constitution. How can a person with this much hate for Muslims and Islam function in that capacity? And how can Muslims working with him or under him be expected to deal with him in a professional way?

    Government can not forbid a wingnut priest from burning the Koran, but they certainly can set a code of conduct for those who wish to be employed by the state. When the military, experts in National Security, and DoD say that this type of protest will potentially endanger troops, the DON'T DO IT. Especially if you work for the Government.

    From what I've read, this guy realized it was a bad idea right after he did it, but I don't think he can un-ring that bell.

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