View Poll Results: How much privacy does a public employee deserve?

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  • It's my dime, I have a right to know.

    3 37.50%
  • Depends... (and I don't mean the adult diaper)

    4 50.00%
  • No, I'm fine with secrecy.

    1 12.50%
  • Not. A. Clue. Convince me.

    0 0%
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Thread: How much privacy does a public employee deserve?

  1. #11
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    Re: How much privacy does a public employee deserve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    Private personnel matters are an internal matter depending on the state and the circumstances. The final result may be a different matter but it depends on a lot of variables.

    When public safety is in question I would think that the Police Dept. would want to do everything they can to put this to bed as fast as possible.

    As a Member of the local City Council I would want to know that this type of infraction would be handled properly and the punishment be fitting.

    I have been involved in similar situations and it's tough to decide. Personnel issues in the City I was in are dealt with in closed Educative Session and may never be made public, ever.

    I have been involved in the review of a Municipal Judge and many more issues and even today many years later if I

    were to talk about what happened I could face jail time.
    I used to serve on a city planning commission, and I can attest that sometimes having everything public can be a hindrance, but that's not specifically what I'm getting at. I'm ok with the internal investigation happening behind closed doors. I just think that the final result should have been published.

    I do not mean this to say that they can keep the case forever open as a way around publishing the results, btw.

  2. #12
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    Re: How much privacy does a public employee deserve?

    I think it really depends on what type of public employee we're talking about. If it's an elected official or a high-ranking appointed official, then they are deserving of less privacy. If it's some low-level paper-pusher in the accounting department of some big government agency, then I think they're deserving of more privacy. IMO it would be wrong to publicly bust that low-level guy unless he's doing something really wrong (besides just general incompetence).

    In this particular instance, I think it's somewhere in between those two extremes. A police officer interacts with the public, so I afford him less privacy than the paper-pusher I mentioned above. On the other hand, this is pretty minor. Sleeping on the job isn't worthy of public embarrassment for a low-level public official...but public embarrassment would absolutely be appropriate if it was, say, police brutality. Whether they fire him or not is really not that big a deal IMO. It's hard to tell the circumstances. Some employers would have no tolerance for that sort of thing, whereas others would merely wake the employee up and tell him to get back to work. But not knowing the circumstances I don't think it's really the public's place to call for his head. He's just a cop, not the Chief of Police. Leave the guy alone.
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  3. #13
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    Re: How much privacy does a public employee deserve?

    At that employee level they are entitled to as much privacy as a peer in the private sector would have. Each case is decided on its merits and there MAY be extenuating circumstances. So long as the disciplinary process has been followed the individual outcome is neither here nor there.
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  4. #14
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    Re: How much privacy does a public employee deserve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    At that employee level they are entitled to as much privacy as a peer in the private sector would have. Each case is decided on its merits and there MAY be extenuating circumstances. So long as the disciplinary process has been followed the individual outcome is neither here nor there.
    How does the taxpaying public know everything was handled properly and above board? By this standard, should we repeal open-meeting laws for city councils and the like? Either we trust people to act honestly, or we don't, and this is public money and public policy at issue, not private.

  5. #15
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    Re: How much privacy does a public employee deserve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Their job is public record or should be.
    If my employer caught me sleeping on the job, I'd be out of a job.
    Me to:

    You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

  6. #16
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    Re: How much privacy does a public employee deserve?

    A public employee (or a private employee for that matter) who is abusing his position on the job has no expectation of privacy. What is done about it once the abuse is reported is between the employee and the employer, not for public consumption. Personnel matters are private. I don't think anyone who has ever had a reprimand in his personnel file believes it's okay to post that reprimand on the company's website for all the world to see.

    The only time private personnel matters can and should be made public is if a crime is committed and the employer knew, or should have known, and covered it up.... for example, an employee had several complaints of inappropriate touching of female employees, then goes on to sexually assault one of them after the complaints are basically ignored. Then the personnel files could be subpoenaed for an investigation of wrong doing and potential criminal action or civil lawsuit.

  7. #17
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    Re: How much privacy does a public employee deserve?

    I’m invested in a corporation, if someone in that corporation is sleeping on the job I want to know about it. If the CFO promoted a gal because of her special extra-curricular activities I want to know about it, wouldn’t you?

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