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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Making money outside our workplace

Controversy is stirring in The Miami Herald newsroom this morning about the resignation of our publisher. It stems from activities over the last three weeks. It was reported in our paper that journalists at El Nuevo Herad, our Spanish language newspaper, were fired for taking money for appearing on Radio Marti. At the time, our publisher, Jesus Diaz, said their activities go against newspaper policy and the objectivity we stand for. They shouldn't have taken the money, he said. Those journalists were reinstated this morning and our publisher quit. The explanation: our policies weren't clear.
So many of us in different professions are involved in activities outside our workplace. We coach our kids' sports teams, teach Sunday school, maybe even run small dog walking businesses. Most businesses don't have policies about what outside activities we can be involved in. Should they? Should our boss care if we are a teacher and making money at night as a cocktail waitress? Journalism has standards about our outside involvement for good reason. We can and should be objective when reporting the news. But should these rules apply in other professions as well. How much control should an employer have over our outside lives or our other sources of income? I think an employer should be aware if we are making money from other activities. I would rather my employer know and give his approval than learn later and make an issue of it. What do you think?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please comment on the distinction between an employe and a free-lancer. Clearly the free-lancer will be paid for work in other venues. Should any one of his contractors control which other contracts he accepts? other than with a direct competitor?
What other restrictions are reasonable and fair?

7:40 PM  
Blogger Cindy Goodman said...

Freelancers are a different animal. They have much more freedom and shouldn't allow a single contractor to control other work they accept. But if you get the bulk of your income and benefits from an employer, they have a right to know from whom you might be making income on the side.

2:41 PM  

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