The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Delta blues

The ever-prolific Milbarge over at Begging the Question (See Random Thought #6) has jumped in on the issue of whether Delta was in the right when it fired a stew . . . flight attendant for posting on her blog semi-seductive photos taken in her uniform. It seems the woman has filed a lawsuit against Delta because the airline has not terminated pilots who post their pictures online.

Milbarge and others have come to the (what I believe is correct) conclusion that she doesn't have a case; however, they question the necessity of the termination itself. At first blush it's easy to agree -- the photos weren't that titillating and Delta appears to be a bit uptight about the whole thing. But Delta had a reason for doing what it did, and ironically, that reason likely stems from the very laws seeking to protect against discrimination. If Delta had notice of the pictures and did nothing, it would set a standard of not punishing employees for such actions. If Delta were to punish a male employee for taking even racier pictures and posting them on the internet then it would be opening itself up to a charge of gender-based discrimination. Employees are now on notice that Delta will terminate them for posting sexy photos while wearing a uniform (or displaying any other affiliation with the company), and as long as Delta evenly applies that policy it will avoid liability.

Don't think this is a problem? A lawyer friend of mine recently told me a story. It seems that the president of a company discovered that one of his senior management employees appeared in a pornographic website (I have no idea how this information was "discovered"). Evidently, the employee and his wife had a predilection for photographing themselves in their most private moments and posting the unedited images on the internet. The company had a large investment in the manager and didn't want to lose him, but like Delta, it was forced to clip the employee's wings to protect itself.

So complain if you must. Rail against the forces of puritanism that have banned smoking in bars, showing a little leg on the internet, and cursing on TV. Just realize that Gloria Steinem had as much to do with this decision as Jerry Falwell.

Centinel 7:50 AM #


That's a good point, Cent. So I guess this means we won't be seeing those pictures of you?

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