Talking Out of Work Causes Unemployment

Discussion
Feb 10, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

David Pilgreen was tired of seeing his employer kicked around and he wanted to set the record straight. That was his first mistake.

Mr. Pilgreen’s second mistake was posting sales results in an online chatroom visited by his fellow Kmart employees.

As well intentioned as Mr. Pilgreen may have been, posting internal sales data was a no-no as far his employer was concerned. The result was that after 16 obviously loyal years,
Mr. Pilgreen was fired by Kmart.

“I never meant to harm Kmart or cause them any trouble,” he said.

His managers may very well have understood, but Mr. Pilgreen was gone for sharing confidential information with the outside world.

Moderator’s Comment: Where do you stand on the right of employers and employees when it comes to talking out of work about things that go on there?

If everyone got fired for criticizing their seniors at work, turnover rates would be much higher. Does saying it publicly on a blog make it different than
saying the same thing to fellow employees or family and friends outside of work?

George Anderson – Moderator

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3 Comments on "Talking Out of Work Causes Unemployment"


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David Pilgreen
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David Pilgreen
15 years 9 months ago

Well first off, I would like to set something straight. The numbers that I posted were not sales numbers. They were just sales percentage differences. For that reason, I didn’t really think it was a big deal. I know now it was wrong. And what’s wrong is wrong. But I to think it was a bit excessive punishment. And to Art, I have always been kinda humble about what kind of person I am, and what my work ethic was like. But now I will say that you can ask anyone that I worked for and with about me and they would tell you that I would go out of my way to do things right. That I would do what I could for company. I was probably one of the most loyal people at the DC. And don’t get me wrong, by no means am I defending what I did. Like I said, I now know it was wrong.

CARL B. ROBERTSON
Guest
CARL B. ROBERTSON
15 years 9 months ago

Employees should be told what information to keep confidential and should follow that policy.

However, I do not think this employee should have been fired because he was trying to help, not hurt his company. He was a loyal team player at heart. After this incident, Kmart should have made sure that this employee and all others knew what to keep confidential.

David Locke
Guest
David Locke
15 years 9 months ago

Insider trading laws can be compromised if you talk about your employer. It’s best not to, just in case someone would use what you said to make such trades.

In the case of blogging, most employers that permit it or encourage it establish policy around that permission.

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