Monday, October 17, 2005

Ask about it at work

This interesting news item grabbed my attention earlier today. Reader's Digest Version: Company (AFLAC) has strict moral conduct policy for employees. Employees engage in immoral behavior, as employees tend to do, at least in every job I've ever had. Wife of employee engaged in said behavior also company employee. Wife sues company for failing to uphold own moral policy after pictures of said immoral behavior circulate among fellow employees.

Call me a liberatarian, if you wish (I've been called worse), but what the hell is a company like AFLAC doing having a policy governing what their employees do outside of work? The whole business of circulating sex pictures of an affair through the place where both you and your wife are employed is obviously deplorable, if not sophmoric. The two idiots in question would likely get the boot in any employment situation, not just one with an annoying duck as their spokesperson and some policy that their employees must not engage in immoral behavior. You see, my friends, circulating sex pictures at work is sexual harassment, no matter how much you want your coworkers to see how well your girlfriend does the reverse cowgirl.

AFLAC is not the only company on the block who tries to hold their employees to higher moral standards. The problem with moral standards, particularly with vague policies like AFLAC's, which reads: associates not engage in "conduct involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, fraud, deceit (or) wilful misrepresentation." is that moral turpitude is not a standard concept. Such policies can be used against any employee who's lifestyle doesn't meet the company moral standard, whatever that may be. It could be used to discriminate against gays, transgendered people, and even midgets, since we all know how midgets have a penchant for immorality.

Employees don't need morality policies since any behavior that occurs on the job is likely governed by other policies created by lawyers and everybody's favorite department at work, human resources. Not only has AFLAC's case shown the uselessness of such policies, but they aren't even enforcing their own high moral standards. I've had a lot of jobs, and I've never been lucky enough to have pictures of two of my coworkers fornicating passed around the office.

I hope that AFLAC loses the case, stops trying to (ineffectively) regulate their employees behavior, and drops their ridiculously annoying ad campaign, which only increases the likelihood that I will eat a duck for Thanksgiving this year.

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