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December 3, 2012
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The real dictator

:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
I've been away from DA for a little over a year now. In that time I've noticed something very frightening happening. Conspire all you want about government overreach, but I think the real thing threatening our most basic freedom is our corporations.

No this isn't a liberal conspiracy about the big bad corporations squishing the little guy and fair wages etc. No this is more about the desperation we have for jobs, and the corporations stranglehold over our very personal lives that this has allowed.

When you get a job, you get a "new" government that, unlike the real government, is able to control minute details about your life.

Your company can spy on your Facebook. Nothing to hide if you do nothing wrong, right? Well, what if you don't like to be photographed and just happen to have a lot of pictures partying? Have a bad day and need to tell your friends about feeling down? Too bad, employers will look at these things (sometimes going so far as to crack past security settings), and feeling depressed for a while or having pictures of you in a bar can cost you your job.

Gay? Want coverage for your partner in a state where you're legally married? Too bad. [link]

Your employer can control how you style and color your hair, any facial hair, how often you shave your armpits, what piercings and tattoos you're allowed to have and where, etc.

Even on job applications, despite discrimination laws in place there are companies skirting these by saying only Christians need apply.

Think I'm being outrageous, these two women were just fired for something not having to do with their job (it was on a work trip, but there's nothing in the photo tying her to her job, nor has there been mention of if she was on the clock at the time): [link]

And most of this, stifling freedom of speech, stifling freedom of expression, stifling religious freedom, etc. etc. is mostly (if not entirely) legal. If the government did similar, you'd have a good court case. And in this economy, you lose your job, you might as well be incarcerated.

**Note, I'm talking about things that affect how you live outside of work, not how you live in the workplace**
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Devious Comments

:iconmci021:
mci021 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
While I agree with the idea that corporations have too much power, I do need to nitpick on some of your points here.

First of all, Facebook. I've never understood why people seem to think that their social media pages are somehow exempt from their employer's review and it's an invasion of privacy. I mean, the asking for your password stuff is actually illegal and they can't do that, but just viewing your page... I don't get people being upset by that.

Facebook is three things - public information, optional and entirely under your own control. People forget that when they share on Facebook, they aren't just sharing to only a few people. Even if you adjust your privacy settings, there are ways for everything you post to leak out. You also don't need to have a Facebook page and you don't need to share every single detail of your life on it. Want to share pictures with your friends? Get together and look at them. Want to gripe about your day? Go our for drinks and let your friends, your real friends, piss and moan with you. There's absolutely no reason, beyond narcissism, that you need to tell all 782 of your "friends" that you had a bad day and don't like your boss much. There's nothing wrong with telling the 15 or so that you actually know and see regularly about your feelings, but the truth is, most of the people on your friends list probably don't care anyway. Lastly, it's entirely up to you how damning your Facebook page is. If you don't want your employer to see things that would make them question hiring you or keeping you on the payroll, then don't post that stuff on your Facebook page. If you simply can't resist posting yet another picture of yourself stoned with a red solo cup in hand, get a dummy account that your friends would know but wouldn't necessarily lead back to you. Ultimately, it's up to you to control what other people see, and if you can't be bothered to think "hmm, this might reflect badly on me at some point" before you post, then you probably deserve the negative response it gets for you.

As for restricting things like chosen appearance, there again, I have a hard time reconciling the outrage. The onus is on you to make sure that you agree with the policies you potential workplace sets down. If being asked to wear business attire, have natural colored hair and no obvious piercings or tattoos is an issue for you, then maybe you should reconsider working there. At the end of the day, you're the one who signs on the dotted line. You're the one agreeing to abide by a certain set of standards in exchange for that paycheck. If those standards are too steep for you, then it's up to you to opt out. When so much of a company's business is determined by the image they present, they have a right to decide what that image should be. If you don't like that, then it's up to you to find something else for yourself.

And lastly, the case of the idiots at Arlington. This goes back to the whole common sense perspective on what you should and shouldn't do or share. These two are dumbasses and no one should feel sorry for them for being fired over their own dumbassery. First of all, it's Arlington National Cemetery. Show a little goddamn respect. They might think they're just so clever, but the fact is, they're not. Second, they were in Washington D.C. on business. Whether or not they were visiting the cemetery on their own time is irrelevant. If you're somewhere on business, you're on their time. Third, having come from the non-profit world before, I know exactly how friendly donors get with the employees of the organization. I also know how little it takes for them to turn their noses up and decide they aren't going to give anymore because they were offended by something. Considering the fact that the existence of their organization depends on the donors who support it, you bet they have a leg to stand on when they want to fire someone for putting that donor relationship in jeopardy. And finally, none of this mess would have happened if these two fools could show a little personal restraint and not put shit like that on their Facebook pages for the whole world to see. This isn't about freedom of speech. It's about exercising basic intelligence, something these two clearly failed at. As far as I'm concerned, they have no one to blame for this but themselves.

At the end of the day, the level of interference our work has on our daily lives is largely up to us. Certain things, like the examples of genuine discrimination you mentioned, are indeed over-reach and need to be more strongly addressed. But things like your hair and your Facebook page are just part of reconciling your needs and wants. These are the adult decisions people make. Everything in life requires sacrifices. If keeping a decent job requires that you get a haircut and stop feeding your own narcissism by showing off every little thing you do on Facebook, then I guess it's up to you to decide how important that job is to you. You can't really blame the company for your behavior, especially when that behavior is dumb and would get you fired if your boss saw it happening in real time as opposed to the next day on the Internet.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
They've been doing this for quite a long time.

Also, I've noticed how there's hardly any female Taxi drivers which makes me wonder if they even allow women to drive taxis.

I've also discovered this one report saying that black people who follow the law and are good citizens with NO criminal record whatsoever are just as likely to be hired as whites who were criminals, and tells a lot about race relations here in the US.

[link]
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I've seen female taxi drivers. I think it's more of a safety issue (women are more aware of the danger of being in a car with a stranger) than a sexism issue.

If you want to talk about industry related sexism, look at education, especially early education. The head of early childhood/primary education courses at my university is male, and when he was working, he'd have difficulty gaining jobs because he was male (he ended up having to work in remote areas, where they were desperate for staff.)

Out of a course of 150 students in the early education + primary course, there are 4 guys. The ratio in the primary course is a bit better (there are probably 50 males in a class of 300)

Accusations of paedophilia is very common, as well as 'men can't look after children!'
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
The child rapist accusations are a new one for me.
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Parents, both male and female say 'I DON'T WANT NO PEDOPHILE TEACHING MY CHILD. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH A MAN WANTING TO BE A CHILDCARE WORKER'
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Yep, this is how it works. Corporations control our lives, but people won't admit it. You can quit your job and try another, but guess what, that one wants to control your life too. They ALL do. You cannot escape it. And of course, it's always the corporation that is in the right. Never is the individual, the actual person (a corporation is NOT a person!), seen as more important.

Corporations are more so dictators because they control our media. They decide what is and is not relevant. They decide what is on TV and what is not. They decide what candidates are on our ballots. Yet everyone buys into it. People will get fired will stupid, illogical reasons like this and simply sigh and move on. People will complain about our politicians doing nothing to solve our problems, yet they will keep electing the same officials. Never does anyone think that maybe there's a problem with our system and perhaps it needs a major overhaul.
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
My friend, you must have a very sheltered life, because you are missing so many acts of government abuse that a simple google search would provide.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Many of these so called abuses, some of which are simply labelled abuses because people disagree with them, are supported by wealthy influences.
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:iconskulkey:
skulkey Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
any sufficiently large bureaucracy will attempt to control your life, be it corporate or government. this is one of the reasons i'm an anarchist.
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:iconjay-hyena:
Jay-Hyena Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is one of the big reasons I don't have a Facebook account in the first place.
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:iconsvenler:
Svenler Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Photographer
You ought to be aware that unlike government, no company can force you to do things against your will. If you don't like what the company does, quit your job.

This is in no way a moral sanction for companies harping on the personal lives of their employees, but you have a choice.

If you don't like that the two women got fired for disrespecting a cemetery while on a business trip, no one is stopping you from giving them a job.
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
So what do you do if you quit? Not pay your bills, become homeless, and then hope you don't live in an area where it's illegal to be homeless?
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:iconsvenler:
Svenler Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Photographer
That's your problem, just as it would be the company's problem if they couldn't replace you.
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
So it's ethical for companies to manipulate you. Right. :roll:
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:iconsvenler:
Svenler Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Professional Photographer
I never said that, I'm saying that you have as little right to force a company to employ you against their will as a company has a right to force you to work for them against your will.
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
and that's actually a real situation, it happened with my mother. :shrug:
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't have much against companies who are up front about things at the start. What worries me more is when you're already employed, and then they make unreasonable requests, especially if they already have those policies in place, and lied during your interviews.

For example, a diabetic goes for an interview with a place. They say that you're allowed to take lunch breaks, even if it's really busy. So the diabetic stops looking for other jobs and agrees to works there.

They then find that it's frowned upon to take lunch.
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:iconsvenler:
Svenler Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Professional Photographer
I don't agree with such practices and never will. I find them highly unethical to tell someone one thing and then try to enforce another. That's not how I do business and not the kind of people I do business with (knowingly). I just recently pulled out of an investment because of an issue like that.

However, part of the fault lies with your mother. If this issue was important to her, she should have had it made part of the terms of her employment contract.

The question is also wether it is (even if unspoken) company policy to lie to people to get them to work for the company or if this is another individual or a group of individuals within the company to take that course.

In any case, I would never support any policy that would force your mother to remain employed there or that would force her company to keep employing her.
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
What they were doing was actually against the law. (where I live, if you're work for x amount, you're supposed to get a break, as it's considered a health and safety issue.) So they were in the wrong, anyway.

It didn't pay too well, and she's not rich, so she decided the best course of action was just to quit, because she knew there was another job waiting for her.

We don't know what she would have done if that position had closed up, though. :shrug:
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(1 Reply)
:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Because people don't need jobs or anything :slow:
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:iconsvenler:
Svenler Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Photographer
Your need is no one's concern except for yours.

If you believe that you can not find another job, then you are not really in a bargaining position to begin with.
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
That's rather a droll standing.

'It's okay to be unethical as so long as the person you are being unethical towards has the ability to leave, even if it's highly impractical.'

It's very good to know that you don't write domestic abuse laws.
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:iconsvenler:
Svenler Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Photographer
You may not know this, but you don't have a right to a job. A job is a voluntary agreement between you and the company - you provide them with something of value (i.e. your skills) and they give you something of value in return (i.e. money). If you feel that it's not a fair trade, you are free to leave and find something else. If they feel it's not a fair trade, they can replace you.
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Your thoughts are horribly convoluted. 'voluntary' does not mean 'right to do anything, no matter how unethical or immoral.'

Do I have a right to a husband? No.
However, does that mean my husband can forcibly control me, telling me how to act, how to dress, when I can leave the house, who I can be friends with, when I am allowed to see my family, how I spend my own money and belittle me as so long as I can leave the relationship (even if it's highly impractical because of him controlling the money, black mailing, being in a strange place without friends or family etc)?

Fuck no.


So why is it okay for a company to do a nearly identical thing to me?
Both are voluntary. Both aren't rights. So what's the difference?
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:iconsvenler:
Svenler Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Photographer
"Your thoughts are horribly convoluted. 'voluntary' does not mean 'right to do anything, no matter how unethical or immoral.'"

I said it's a voluntary agreement. I didn't think it was that hard to understand.

"Do I have a right to a husband? No. However, does that mean my husband can forcibly control me, telling me how to act, how to dress..."

A husband has as little right to control what you do as a company does. If you don't like that a professional job requires you to wear a suit, don't work such a professional job.

"how I spend my own money"

The government controls how you are to spend at least a large portion of your own money, but you don't seem to have an issue with that. Why?

"So why is it okay for a company to do a nearly identical thing to me?"

Companies can't control what you do and neither can significant others(outside of some societies) - whereas husbands have more legal leverage than companies on some issues.

You have the right to act as you please, but companies also have the right to hire whomever they want. I for one tell my employees when to show up to work, how to dress, etc. If they don't like those rules, they don't have to work for me, if they don't follow those rules, I don't have to employ them.

If you don't like it, start your own company, tell people they can do whatever they want and you won't fire them, and see where it takes you. If you are successful, maybe there is something to it and other companies will adopt similar policies.
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
The issue, as =Midnight-Dreary is trying to point out, is not the regular reasonable requests of work: showing up on time, advance requesting vacation days off, dressing professionally at work, not showing up at work drunk etc.

The issue is companies saying "oh, this photo your friend posted of you drinking on Facebook? You're fired!" or not letting you dress how you want outside of work, not letting you have time off when a family emergency happens, not giving you health care coverage for certain things (therefore dictating your health choices).

A company saying what you can and can't do in regards to when you're working is perfectly fine and reasonable. When they start dictating what you do OUTSIDE of work (which is happening) there is an issue. That is your time, not their time to control.
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(1 Reply)
:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer

A husband has as little right to control what you do as a company does. wIf you don't like that a professional job requires you to wear a suit, don't work such a professional job.


I am not talking about reasonable requests, and you know that. Using the husband example, Is it okay for a husband to tell his wife to be home by 4pm, because he needs to leave for work? yes. Is it okay to for a husband to tell his wife that she's not allowed to go to her mothers funeral, just because 'I don't want you around your family' ? nope. Same with companies.

Requiring someone to not wear religious symbols during work hours is okay. Firing a person because they wore a cross to the park, not cool.


The government controls how you are to spend at least a large portion of your own money, but you don't seem to have an issue with that.

when you pay taxes, it stops being your money.


Companies can't control what you do and neither can significant others(outside of some societies) - whereas husbands have more legal leverage than companies on some issues.
So company can't force the hand of someone who's on minimum wage, who is one missed paycheck away from living on the streets?


You have the right to act as you please, but companies also have the right to hire whomever they want. I for one tell my employees when to show up to work, how to dress, etc. If they don't like those rules, they don't have to work for me, if they don't follow those rules, I don't have to employ them.

...and everything you listed there is a reasonable request, because it's not telling them what to do in their private life. If you hired someone and then told them that they have to wear a suit on their days off, or you'll fire them, that's unethical.



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(1 Reply)
:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Without government help, no business can pass laws or enforce them with a legal monopoly on force. No matter what businesses do, and I'll admit some of them do stupid things, they will never be the real dictators.
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:icontrorbes:
Trorbes Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
And what do you think will happen once you remove that 'monopoly on force'?
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
You, my good sir, have lost the right to speak to me for a very long time, so scram. Come back when you prove to me you want to debate and not make an ass of yourself.
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:icontrorbes:
Trorbes Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Oh noes, I am so devastated by this turn of events. Now who will pedantically ask me to define words for them to nitpick and tell me maybe I'll understand someday.

You don't want a debate, you want a verbal sparring match. That's all this place is, one big political free-for-all, where people beat each other with links and facts and meaningless rhetoric like "dear leader" and "WingNutDaily." You aren't here to make compelling arguments to sway people's opinions, you're here to 'win' for your political views, so drop the sanctimony. Besides, if you really meant what you said you'd either block me or ignore me; responding to me with "I'm not responding to you" doesn't make you look like the mature one.
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Whatever bloats your ego. And forgive me if I felt your apology earned you a reply, even a blunt one.
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:iconawesomeblossompossum:
AwesomeBlossomPossum Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You do that yourself. :lol:
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
It's a voluntary contract. Your employer can't control shit unless you consent to it.
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:iconzer05um:
Zer05um Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional General Artist
You know, in this one sentence you sum up all that is broken with your thinking - or rather it shows that you (and all Libertarians to one degree or another) have made the same error that Marx did: Reality doesn't match academic theory. Marx was wrong in one direction, Rand et al in the opposite.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
Then prove me wrong. How can your employer control you like a government? Is it part of your natural human rights to have that job? So having to quit to get what you want violates your rights?

I would love to hear you explain how you can have a right to a specific job without violating someone else's right to not be enslaved to support you.
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:iconzer05um:
Zer05um Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional General Artist
You miss the point, as always. I used to think it deliberate, but you're so consistent that I think it really is some kind of neurological defect. OK, here goes in the probably vain attempt that you'll be able to grasp a simple idea.

You seem to get stuck on singular actors - if there is one company that behaves badly and the rest are well behaved then of course, your position makes sense, but in reality this is not the case. Bad behaviour is incremental and generally, on a step by step basis, financially beneficial to the company. Where this becomes a problem is when all companies effectively become badly behaved, or where the pressure for jobs becomes such that people are willing to take anything just to get by. Now you can argue that people can move, or should have planned ahead; but that would really be fatuous, even by your standards and I'm not going to go there; if you are so challenged as to need that, I'm sure others will jump in.

Now, to expand on that point of singular actors, it does make sense: you claim to be libertarian, although that term is slippery and has many different meanings. You, I think, are a militant individualist, which is fine (obscure pun intended), but you fall into the therefore obvious logical trap of only thinking about singular actors and one-one correspondences. It's only by oversimplifying things that your worldview can work it seems.

Your second point is even more asinine than the first. Indeed it's so stupid and redolent of a thirteen year-old that has just discovered the tools of rhetoric that I'm simply going to assume it was an unusually daft brain spasm even for you.
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:iconmagusthelofty:
MagusTheLofty Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
And that is exactly why I keep my emails separate from each other. My job seeking email is separate from my personal email. And my youtube is separate from both of them.
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:icondefense2:
defense2 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
If a company ask for your email, they mean all of them.

My reply to them is often junk email names. I hand them a dozen or so email names I have used over the last ten plus years and say have fun.. I forgot their passwords, so if you crack them, let me know.
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:iconmagusthelofty:
MagusTheLofty Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
That's a clever idea. Fortunately I've never had to give a company all of my email addresses. Not that I would anyway. I would just give them the ones which were for professional use.
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:icontacosteev:
tacosteev Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist
I also think it's bogus for employees to be fired for what they say or do outside of work. Unless they're on the clock or in their company uniform then their time is their own.

As for the gals fired for the cemetery photo, they were on company time. When I travel for work they pay my food, hotel, car rental, gas and flight. Those trips are not personal time but company time.
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:iconmaddmatt:
maddmatt Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
What? Your company can monitor how you carry yourself in public? The horrrrorrrrr!!!!!!!!

lol...what a whiny rant.
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:icontacosteev:
tacosteev Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist
If you're not on the clock then they have no right to dictate or monitor what you do on your personal time. Period.
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:iconmaddmatt:
maddmatt Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Sure they do. Anything you do in public is fair game by anyone to monitor.
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:icontacosteev:
tacosteev Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist
A private party at a friend's house is not public.
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:iconmaddmatt:
maddmatt Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Depends on who is invited, and if pictures are posted on the net. And the actions of the participants at the party.
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
So, there is no such thing as private, huh.
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:iconzer05um:
Zer05um Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional General Artist
Not any more. We like facebook, but as a consequence we have surrendered the right to privacy - in deed if not in intent.
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:iconmaddmatt:
maddmatt Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Sure.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
So essentially privacy doesn't exist. It's not private unless you're all on your own, because otherwise another person could take a picture and post it online, especially with the availability of smart phones.

But I'm guessing you're just fine with having lost your right to privacy. Oh well, huh? That's just how the grand corporations dictated and we must follow their rules or suffer. Who cares about personal rights?
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