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  #1  
Old 24.12.2011, 00:04
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Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

I work at AN International School, and have been in trouble for writing professionally online about MY life, but about my job and coworkers however it is veiled as no names of people or places are used. This is a new dilemma. Imagine if it were a blog, I anonimize but if you know me.
Anyway, if they fire me or ask me to leave what are my rights? I have a B permit tied to the school job. Please earnest advice, I can pay for legal advice. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
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Old 24.12.2011, 00:18
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

It's very easy to fire an employee in Switzerland. You should have the terms somewhere in your contract. If not then the legal minimums for notice, etc apply.

I hope it doesn't come to that.
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Old 24.12.2011, 01:58
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

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I work at AN International School, and have been in trouble for writing professionally online about MY life, but about my job and coworkers however it is veiled as no names of people or places are used. This is a new dilemma. Imagine if it were a blog, I anonimize but if you know me.
Anyway, if they fire me or ask me to leave what are my rights? I have a B permit tied to the school job. Please earnest advice, I can pay for legal advice. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

What exactly does "have been in trouble mean"? Did your employer issue a letter of warning? Have they taken a specific action?

If by writing professionally you are in breach of your contract, or a code of conduct, they can fire you and if you are non EU, may also revoke your permit by notifiying the authorities that your employment contract has been terminated.

I think it goes without saying that even if your permit were not revoked, you could have a lot of trouble finding a position at another international school.
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Old 24.12.2011, 02:27
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

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I work at AN International School, and have been in trouble for writing professionally online about MY life, but about my job and coworkers however it is veiled as no names of people or places are used. This is a new dilemma. Imagine if it were a blog, I anonimize but if you know me.
Anyway, if they fire me or ask me to leave what are my rights? I have a B permit tied to the school job. Please earnest advice, I can pay for legal advice. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
There is not much call for employment lawyers here, because there is not much employment law!

So long as they comply with the notice term in your contract, any employer is free to terminate you without giving any reason for doing so. In your case that would also mean that you'd loose your permit and be asked to leave the country.

If I was you I'd start to try and repair the bridges rather than getting involved in a legal fight you are unlikely to win....
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Old 24.12.2011, 04:12
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

There's nothing clear in my contract about writing or ethics or notices. People keep mentioning these things and I know that 5 ppl were fired this year and given the option to leave in december or in June, so that is nice. I would like to repair but I feel so many unjust things go on at that school, my biggest hope is another INternational school will take me and understand the high turn over rate. Thanks.
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Old 24.12.2011, 08:36
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

Moral of the story "Don't bite the hand that feeds' you"

They want to fire you they will do, with 1,2 or 3 months notice or whatever is written in your contract. If your permit is linked to the job, then you'll have to leave unless you can find another job quickly and from what you've said, this is going to be unlikely.

Remember, Switzerland is very small.....
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Old 24.12.2011, 09:11
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

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I work at AN International School and have been in trouble for writing professionally online about MY life,...


Having had the experience of writing a blog, and discussed with HR, it seems that legally, you can do what you like. However, if they decide to fire you, you have no rights. It's simply a termination of contract.
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Old 24.12.2011, 15:56
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

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There's nothing clear in my contract about writing or ethics or notices. People keep mentioning these things and I know that 5 ppl were fired this year and given the option to leave in december or in June, so that is nice. I would like to repair but I feel so many unjust things go on at that school, my biggest hope is another INternational school will take me and understand the high turn over rate. Thanks.
As I said above, if it's not in the contract then the legal limits apply. You can search this site. They have been listed here many time.

Good luck.
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Old 24.12.2011, 18:03
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

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There's nothing clear in my contract about writing or ethics or notices. People keep mentioning these things and I know that 5 ppl were fired this year and given the option to leave in december or in June, so that is nice. I would like to repair but I feel so many unjust things go on at that school, my biggest hope is another INternational school will take me and understand the high turn over rate. Thanks.
If you terminate the contract, (rather than get fired) and obtain a good reference letter, you may be able to find another position. Other than your experience and qualifications, it all depends on whether the other issue surfaces.

Maybe you should be proactive and start looking for another job.
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Old 24.12.2011, 18:33
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

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Having had the experience of writing a blog, and discussed with HR, it seems that legally, you can do what you like. However, if they decide to fire you, you have no rights. It's simply a termination of contract.
Legally, perhaps. But if it was clear who the players are to those in the know and that the things that were written were not particularly flattering then I would be inclined to say that the basis of trust is no longer given and that therefore a termination would be a justifiable course of action. After all, who wants someone working for them who badmouths the organisation in public? And if other staff members saw it and recognise themselves in a less than flattering light, it is not exactly conducive to maintaining a good rapport and a pleasant working environment.

Keyboards are a truly dangerous item. One really has to think twice before hitting that send button whether it is to a public forum or a work e-mail. I had a boss that saved me from making one of the biggest mistakes of my career. How did he do it? He came into the office before I got in and took my keyboard away. He gave it to my secretary and said that she was to call him when I got in and under NO circumstances to give me my keyboard back. He was a great boss and I was extremely grateful.
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Old 24.12.2011, 18:57
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

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Legally, perhaps. But if it was clear who the players are to those in the know and that the things that were written were not particularly flattering then I would be inclined to say that the basis of trust is no longer given and that therefore a termination would be a justifiable course of action. After all, who wants someone working for them who badmouths the organisation in public? And if other staff members saw it and recognise themselves in a less than flattering light, it is not exactly conducive to maintaining a good rapport and a pleasant working environment.

Keyboards are a truly dangerous item. One really has to think twice before hitting that send button whether it is to a public forum or a work e-mail. I had a boss that saved me from making one of the biggest mistakes of my career. How did he do it? He came into the office before I got in and took my keyboard away. He gave it to my secretary and said that she was to call him when I got in and under NO circumstances to give me my keyboard back. He was a great boss and I was extremely grateful.
Snoopy is totally correct!

I used to investigate these sort of events (not in CH) and the sort of thing you are describing here we would have prosecuted and involved the police- If the blogs can be linked to you and the intention is to highlight an organisation/people in what they may consider unfavaourable then you have done sufficient
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Old 24.12.2011, 19:25
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

Lots of good advice here. Since you wanted to pay, shall we forward pay in slips to you ?
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Old 24.12.2011, 19:45
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

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Legally, perhaps. But if it was clear who the players are to those in the know and that the things that were written were not particularly flattering then I would be inclined to say that the basis of trust is no longer given and that therefore a termination would be a justifiable course of action. After all, who wants someone working for them who badmouths the organisation in public? And if other staff members saw it and recognise themselves in a less than flattering light, it is not exactly conducive to maintaining a good rapport and a pleasant working environment.

Keyboards are a truly dangerous item. One really has to think twice before hitting that send button whether it is to a public forum or a work e-mail. I had a boss that saved me from making one of the biggest mistakes of my career. How did he do it? He came into the office before I got in and took my keyboard away. He gave it to my secretary and said that she was to call him when I got in and under NO circumstances to give me my keyboard back. He was a great boss and I was extremely grateful.
how did he know you were going to go nuclear?
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Old 24.12.2011, 21:10
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

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how did he know you were going to go nuclear?
The problem had been bubbling and he knew I felt strongly about it and that my patience was wearing thin. He saw an incoming mail late the evening before and knew when I read it I would go ballistic. He was probably the best boss I had, knew when to give me a long leash and when to reel me in.
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Old 24.12.2011, 21:17
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

I don't know what to say about the blogging part, but I do echo what everyone said- termination in Switzerland is termination.

Another thing I have experienced personally is that the international schools admin and teaching corps are rather inbred and word gets around. All the administrators know each other and, in one case I know in CH, one dude is a shareholder in like three or four schools. I know of a horrible story where an excellent teacher got blacklisted due to a litigation situation where the teacher was in the right. The teacher has not been able to work, not in international schools, not in the public school system.

But anyway, not knowing all the details for you, it is your judgement call, but sometimes you are better off just quitting and making sure you have a good work certificate even if the school is in the wrong.
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Old 24.12.2011, 21:46
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

Employment law in CH in made for- and by- employers.

Does your school have a social media policy/guidelines? I would start by checking what it says. Have you identified yourself in blog? Does the blog have a disclaimer saying this is your very own opinion and doesn't reflect the views of your employer?

In general, it is bad - but really very very bad - to broadcast about your employer and coworkers. Haven't seen the blog, but between the lines it seems your have discussed in public things that might be considered confidential. Since you mention persons, you have exposed their views and actions without their permission. All of the above is not allowed and might get you in a lot of problems (and no, you are not right about it. It is wrong and unethical to do that). In both cases, it is a break of trust that doesn't go in the best interests of the company and your colleagues. Things might be unjust - but that is YOUR opinion and the place to discuss it is not a public forum.

If I was your boss, you would have been dismissed ipsu facto. My strong recommendation at this point is to stop this blog right now. If you don't want to stop it, add the disclaimers to give you some sort of protection. If your boss wants to fire you, she will. It is very easy in CH, and from what I heard, you made it even easier for her.

By the way, my invoice is on its way....
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Last edited by lucy_sg; 24.12.2011 at 23:23. Reason: edit for clarity
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Old 28.12.2011, 14:18
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

There was a recent case here in VD that was all across the news in a similar vein. A teacher (public school VD) posted a picture of himself on his facebook page doing something rather silly and/or offensive while on his own private time. It got him fired as many found it very offensive and not within the role model or obligtations of his profession. Apparently he was fighting it legally, but not sure where it stands. Something to follow perhaps http://www.tdg.ch/actu/suisse/enseig...cie-2011-12-01
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Old 28.12.2011, 14:26
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

As a general rule, I say that if you wouldn't want your boss or a colleague seeing your blog, don't write in it or alternately, make it password protected to limited users.

Blogs can actually be a fantastic way to show passion for your work field. They can give your employer confidence that you care enough about what you do that you want to write about it in your spare time. It's a tool to set you apart for a promotion, in fact.
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Old 09.01.2012, 12:35
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

Wow, such good advice, thanks all. I can't reveal too much but I will say this, it is not a private blog, it is an INTERNATIONAL highly reputable online news magazine, akin to blogging for the International Herald Tribune, my past life is as a writer. Therefore, I think I may hold some cards here. Also, I pulled the article. No names no identifications, just my opinion. I will either have to have a chat with HR or hope I can contine publishing as long as nothing's out of line. I suspect there are a lot of us at local schools with the high turnover rate. No more info to be divulged. Thanks all! Payment is in karma!xx
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Old 09.01.2012, 13:03
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Re: Weird Work Dilemma need lawyer or paid advice

As has already been said, termination is very easy here in Switzerland as long as the rules are followed, and the only rule is termination period.

Check also your contract because if it forbids any other work (without written persmission etc) then quite likely the notice period will be zero and you can find yourself out on your ear.

If the organisation you are writting for is as you say it is, then maybe they have access to legal help, but I don't think it changes much.
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