Labor board: Newspaper can legally fire reporter for ‘inappropriate’ tweets

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 16:48 EDT
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The Arizona Daily Star had the legal right to fire its crime and public safety reporter for a series of morbid tweets he posted on his personal Twitter account, according to the National Labor Relations Board.

Business Insurance reported the federal labor agency found that the reporter’s termination did not violate regulations that protect communications by employees that involve discussing working conditions with other employees.

The newspaper said it fired the unnamed reporter in September 2010 because they had no confidence that he could “sustain our expectation of professional courtesy and mutual respect,” adding that his tweets were “unprofessional and inappropriate.”

The reporters tweets included:

“You stay homicidal, Tucson. See Star Net for the bloody deets.”

“What?!?!? No overnight homicide? WTF? You’re slacking Tucson.”

“Suggestion for new Tucson-area theme song: Droening (sic) pool’s ‘let the bodies hit the floor’.”

“I’d root for daily death if it always happened in close proximity to Gus Balon’s.”

“Hope everyone’s having a good Homicide Friday, as one Tucson police officer called it.”

The reporter also mocked some of the Arizona Daily Star’s copy editors for headlines in the newpaper’s sports section.

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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