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Fired for using the internet? Oregon

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  • Fired for using the internet? Oregon

    My situation in a nutshell: I was hired by a municipal gov't 3 months ago. Our dep't has an off-site supervisor, so I was trained by a peer who'd only been there for a few months. After 2 weeks of training I was left on my own and told to "learn by observation".

    Four weeks later, one of my co-workers filed a formal complaint, accusing me of violating department policy by using the internet for personal reasons. The investigation is nearly complete and it is looking like they are going to try to terminate me.

    Some facts:

    - department policy states that personal internet use is permitted "during breaks".

    - "breaks" were never defined to me, except by my initial trainer who stated that we did not have formal break periods and to just "take them when they became available".

    - I did in fact use the internet for personal reasons. Many times in fact. I thought I was following the guidelines (i.e., taking breaks when they became available).

    - I observed my co-workers using the internet for personal reasons (during work hours) and determined that my own personal use fell within the same parameters of theirs.

    - at no point was I ever told (prior to the investigation) that my personal internet use was a violation of policy.

    Any advice or opinion? I am a "probationary employee" so I'm not sure if I have any rights at all. I almost feel like I was deceived into using the internet so that a jealous/vengeful co-worker could easily get rid of me.


  • #2
    Oh please. No one held a gun to your head and forced you to use the internet for personal reasons while at work.

    Did you ASK what was appropriate?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


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