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Fired simply for having a blog

Drew Townson started a blog. Two weeks in, his fifth post was an announcement of the birth of his baby son, along with an adorable photo. (Mazel Tov, Drew!)

Then he was fired. For blogging.

He had asked his employer, Mercenary Audio, if he could blog on the store’s web site. Nope, said Mercenary, even though Drew has over the course of 25 years created a name for himself as an audio engineer and producer. (Check Google and the AMG All Music Guide.)

So, Drew started his own personal blog. On it he did not mention Mercenary, did not link to Mercenary, did not sell or offer any products or services that might be construed as competing with Mercenary. It just wasn’t about Mercenary. He didn’t even use his own name.

His boss learned about the blog when coworkers passed around the posting with the adorable photo of his newborn son. His boss then fired Drew by leaving him a voicemail that Drew picked up when he got home from the hospital.

From this we may conclude several things:

1. Mercenary wouldn’t know good marketing if it drove by with “Good Marketing” vanity plates.

2. The first amendment has been rescinded at Mercenary Audio.

3. The reports of a douche bag sighting at Mercenary seem quite plausible.

(This post is based on email correspondence with Drew, who is a friend of a friend.) [Tags: ]

Some of my colleagues at Harvard Law’s Berkman Center (did I mention it’s Harvard Law) point out that the First Amendment doesn’t actually cover this case. Details details! (I actually did know that, but was being all rhetoricalish. With this note I’m being accuratitious.)

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