How far can employees go when firing off comments on the web on their own time? What if the employee is a public servant?
For Bernie Kieklak, chief of staff for state Sen. Lisa Boscola, the answer is pretty far. Kieklak was suspended without pay for posting an obscene rant on a political blog called “Lehigh Valley Ramblings.” In it, Kieklak called U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent “a (expletive) bag,” and Democratic congressional candidate Sam Bennett a “phony political whore who makes … cheap, blatant opportunists look like Mother (expletive) Teresa.” He went on to make explicit sexual comments about Bennett. When a 23-year-old female blogger objected, he fired off a counterattack so foul it’s unprintable.
Kieklak tendered his resignation shortly after, but Boscola granted a reprieve, saying he could return to his job after some counseling, possibly including anger . Boscola herself might need some counseling in career management after that call.
Advice: Many employers have developed blogging policies to guide employees and protect their reputations. Check out the web site www.corporateblogging.info for tips on creating a policy.
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