Posted 31 October 2005 - 07:57 PM
With all due respect to everyone, there's quite another point to this story as well, and that is just how far employers are allowed to go in regulating the conduct, especially off-site, of their employees' lives.
The fact is that, unless you are a member of a labour union, or have a contract with your employer that specifically prohibits him or her from firing you without due cause, your employer can, and will, if it suits him or her, and there is nothing you can legally do about it.
Yes, you can't be fired anymore on racial, gender or physical conditional grounds, but that's really about it.
Otherwise, depending on which state in the Union in which you live, you can be fired very easily.
I live in Nevada, where that very assertion is an everyday reality.
Pardon the un-wanted advice here, but, if you can, be very, VERY choosy about for whom you choose to work.
Ask about wages, hours, benefits, and all that, but, if you can, please try to observe, if possible, how the other employees inter-act with each other and their supervisors, that sort of thing.
It mayn't be much that you'll get to see, but observe what you can, and balance what you see off against whatever the Human Resources personnel at the company to which you've applied are telling you.
If the discrepansies between those two are great, don't even think about working for such a firm.
Also, expect nothing in the way of loyalty from your bosses.
I know, it's very elementary advice, coming as it does in the context of such an aggressively capitalist country like the US.
But, remember that, at the end of the day, for all the prattle found in some companies about how they are a "family" and so on, you're really just a hired hand, nothing more.
When it comes right down to it, unless you are fortunate enough to find an employer who really does care about the lot of his or her employees, because it's both good business and good ethics, you are as dispensable to your employer as a Kleenex.
Good to have around when one's needed, but, once the sneezing and nose-wiping are done, best to dispose of it as soon as possible.
The best thing that a worker can do, aside from joining a union, or forming one if none exists, is to either go into business for oneself, or to protect oneself and one's family by remembering that the loyalty and gratitude of employers, like those of princes, prime ministers and presidents, can't be expected nor relied upon.