Re: SeriousQ2.0

Subject: Re: SeriousQ2.0
From: Nora von Gerichten <wlg -at- pacificcoast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 08:55:33 -0800

A few years ago, I fired someone on the spot, for stealing and drunkenness at work. Shortly after I got a call as a reference. I was asked for the reason that I let her go and answered truthfully. A couple of days later I received a phone call from Labour Standards (a govt organization). I was fined and severely reprimanded.

Not sure if it is true, but seems that this should cut both ways. An interview question is a public statement. *Anything* negative leaves the person open to nasty legal issues. IT or any other industry, yesterday, today, or tomorrow does not change the legal issues, which is way beyond ethics or professional conduct.

A year ago I had a person here working on a co-op program. About a month after the time was over, that person showed up and demanded that I was obligated to hire them. I had to get the police to remove the person after the death threats started. That person took me to Labour Standards requesting a monetary settlement equal to 3 months salary. When I got the telephone call, the clerk was very sympathetic to my situation and warned me not to say anything negative without an affidavit of a witness to the threats. The police did not count because they did not witness the threats. Fortunately, the person was so out of it with anger that they did not notice that there were three other people in the room, so affidavits were not an issue. I won, but was given a real "run for my money".

Again, it seems to me that negative comments should cut both ways. This is not a two way street but a situation, not much different from a divorce, that whoever initiates the action has the upper hand. Making a negative statement about someone in a public forum leaves anyone open to defamation of character and/or slander, even if it is true.


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