One thing I have learned over the years is that the news is rarely presented accurately, whether it's in the National Enquirer or the New York Times. It's inevitable, really, because reducing human foibles to an article means leaving out a lot. Otherwise there would be no readers, because let's face it, we like our news and features to be quick and easily digestible, not long and complex.
Rarely does anything I read get me so riled up that I am going to write an entire blog about it. Then, this morning, I saw Utah Man Fired for Blogs About Homophones, Which Apparently Promote the Gay Agenda.
A homophone means two words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings, like "which" and "witch" or "to, too, two." Has nothing to do with being gay. [No, I am not going to go for the easy joke here, either.]
However, after reading it I decided to do a little research because it's sounds a little too off, even for conservative Utah.
I was an employment law paralegal for more than 15 years. The one thing I can tell you is this: there are always two sides to every story. Or three. Or more. After reading this story I gave it some thought and decided there are probably several things going on.
I think Torkildson had been making his boss uncomfortable for a while. The homophone column was an excuse to fire him -- even though it's a very poor excuse, an excuse nonetheless. I would even speculate that perhaps the boss is not a rocket scientist and therefore felt threatened by Torkildson.
Does that excuse the termination? Of course not. I am simply saying there is more to the story.
When an employee is terminated from a job, if they feel it has been done unfairly, then they need to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If that results in a ruling they still don't like, and it often does, then they can file a complaint in a civil court.
However, if the employee has been all over the internet complaining, that complicates things. I'm not saying it's the wrong thing to do, but it makes life harder for an attorney. Most attorneys do not want their clients talking to the press or posting anything on social media about an active litigation case, or even a potentially active case. Those things can be used against clients.
As an example, if someone posts on Facebook "Just sued Acme Pants! I am going to get a million dollars and put those asshats out of business!" it may be factually accurate but it's not something that will make a jury like the Plaintiff. Nowadays the discovery process (where both sides trade documents) often involves emails and social media postings.
Social media is a powerful thing, and it's not going away. As sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. get more popular, there is a great lack of privacy. If you are OK with that, and don't plan to file a lawsuit anytime soon, great. If you are uncomfortable, just stay off the internet.
Just trying to promote the Homo Sapiens agenda here folks...
This is Lola's response to the article:
yes, I just thought it was a cute photo, totally random... LOL