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Q. I recently happened upon an employee's Web site. I guess it's called a blog. He writes a lot about some questionable activities that make me rethink whether I want him working for me. Is that something that I can fire him for?

A. You'd do well to consult a labor attorney that is familiar with the laws in your area. Some states are "right to work" meaning it's a little harder to let somebody go. Others are "at will" meaning you can fire somebody a bit easier.

Blogging, or other types of public speaking, will continue to be an issue. This is particularly the case when researching the background of somebody that you are thinking about hiring, but people have certainly lost jobs over things that they've written about on their Web sites.

There is no consensus on how to approach this yet. Employees deserve a private life, and many managers would probably rather not know. However, if the employee makes their private life public, then the employer may be faced with a decision. If the writing reflects negatively on the company, then it might be worth mentioning to the employee. If it doesn't impact the company, and if you're happy with the work and wouldn't have had any issues if you'd never come across the Web site, then it might be worth thinking about how difficult it can be to find good employees.

In either event, many companies have developed policies to address these types of situations. If you haven't yet, that may be something you'd want to consider putting in place after discussing it with a lawyer familiar with your local issues.

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