If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all ... or get fired!
This rang true for four town employees in Hooksett, N.H., who were fired from their jobs for bad-mouthing their boss, Town Administrator David Jodoin.
Among the comments made by the four employees, all women, were that Jodoin and another female employee had a "close relationship."
The women fired deny that they started the rumor and say that they didn't sit around and just gossip at work. Each woman had received positive work reviews and is appealing to get back her job. READ MORE
FNC wants to know — Do you think employees should be fired for gossiping at work? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and check in later to see if your comment is posted.
Here's what FOX fans are saying:
“I don't think it is ever a good idea to bad-mouth the boss or anyone else you work with. It leaves an unfavorable look in the eyes of anyone who hears it and has its own ramifications. However, where does it end? Lunch hour is NOT company time; it is no one's business how I spend hours away from work, unless it affects my work performance. If I talk to my husband at home, telling him the stresses of the day and how the boss really upset me or did something I thought was not in the best interest of the organization ... should I be fired? Work time is work time. Off hours is MY time.” — Sue
“Wow. If you can't talk to your coworkers about your boss's behavior, who can you talk to? What kind of country are we living in? I hope these women win their appeals and their former boss is reprimanded for losing his temper along with his reputation. If employees can be fired for repeating gossip in a private conversation, no job in America is safe.” — Bekki (SD)
“Absolutely, they should be fired. There are some offenses that you don’t get two or three write ups, it should be immediate termination. It doesn’t matter if they are gossiping about a coworker or their boss, it causes too many problems at work.” — Clarence (Kingsland, GA)
“Talk about sending the unemployment figures through the roof! If they fired all the gossipers, the next six months would be like a job fair in heaven. What a wonderful idea. I wish they had thought of it before I retired. Go for it. Can them all.” — April (IL)
“Yes, it is appropriate to be disciplined or fired for gossiping at work. Gossiping destroys employee morale and co-worker relationships. It distracts from the work at hand, which leads to decreased productivity. It is never constructive. It is always destructive, and it is often used a a form of manipulation.” — T. J.
“Gossiping at work should not be a fire-able offence unless it decreases job performance due to time spent doing it, or creates a hostile work environment for other employees. I could completely understand any employer that put gossiping on a yearly evaluation or had supervisors counsel employees caught excessively gossiping, but unless it is a serious recurring problem that could not be resolved by other means, there isn't any reason to fire a good employee for it.” — Tyler (TX)
“No because if that were the case I think every American would be out of a job!” — Nicole (San Jose, CA)
“During the time the employee is in the hire and subject to the rules of employment, he should not partake in this type of activity. We all know that it is exactly what it is called and may put the employer at risk. I think an oral reprimand on the first offense, perhaps a written on the second, and if so dumb as to provide a third, then the employer has a right to dismiss the non-compliant employee.” — Arthur
“Those who gossip at work should indeed be fired after being warned. As a small business owner, I wonder at the effect that gossipers have on the business and it is not fair to watch my business deteriorate because some slanderers are present.” — Debera (Bonita Springs, FL)
“The town manager, David, needs to be fired for having an affair with another employee. Starting rumors which it appears these women didn't do would be wrong. Discussing what you heard may not be nice but it appears David and this other woman are the ones lacking in ethics and morals.” — Sherry
“If the gossip is a character assignation, or is meant to hurt a person’s reputation, yes, the person or persons should be fired. I can speak from the receiving end of gossip that it is useless, hurtful and detrimental to productivity in the workplace. Gossip serves no good purpose, and can only be harmful. There is no such thing as good gossip.” — Deborah (West Babylon, NY)
“No, no person should be fired for gossiping. Who decides what is gossiping?” — Nancy
“People who spread rumors and gossip are a determent to the whole workforce. They can spread dissention and undermine another person's job. Employers should be allowed to dismiss for this reason it can distract from getting the job accomplished. Employers should make it clear that this can be a reason for dismissal.” — J