Petite Anglaise, fellow blogger and double-whammy style winner of our very own 2006 Satin Pajama Awards in the categories Best Expat Weblog and Best Personal Weblog was fired from her job because of her blogging activities, or ‘dooced’ in weblog lingo. Her plight is receiving major news coverage, as you will see below the fold.
Catherine Sanderson, as we now know her true name to be, wonâ€™t be leaving her job without putting up a legal fight first. Iâ€™ll let the media tell the rest of the story.
Unmarried mother Catherine Sanderson — “La Petite Anglaise” to 3,000 regular readers of her Internet diary — is launching legal action in France, claiming unfair dismissal against accountancy firm Dixon Wilson, British media reports say.
But partners at the leading British accountancy firm Dixon Wilson alleged that she made herself and therefore the firm identifiable by including her own photograph on the weblog. They also complained that she used office time to work on it.
The case – one of the first of its kind in France – will be brought before the prud’hommes or labor tribunals later this year, and Catherine’s lawyer is pressing for an award of two years’ salary. Dixon Wilson, which offers tax and financial advice to private clients in Britain and France, was unable to comment.
Catherine said that she never revealed her name and never identified her employer online. Her French former boyfriend is â€œMr Frogâ€, while their three-year-old daughter is â€œTadpoleâ€.
I look at my daughter, her beautiful chocolate-icing coated cheeks, and wonder how on earth I have managed to make such a mess of things. Here I am, holding a fantasy birthday party, while our whole world is literally crashing down around our ears.
I was â€œdoocedâ€ today.
Suspended without pay, pending a dismissal meeting in ten dayâ€™s time.
Asked to collect my belongings together and leave the building immediately.
The words â€œfaute graveâ€ were used. Translated into English: gross misconduct.
Petite Anglaise: the blog that got me fired. Call me naÃ¯ve, but I really didnâ€™t see that coming.
Update, July 20th. Petite explains herself a bit more in the Guardian’s Comment is free section:
The dismissal interview took place on 5 May and it was not clear at its close what the firm’s intentions were. These were only confirmed when I received my official letter of dismissal on 11 May. I learnt, to my relief, that the accusation of gross misconduct had been dropped, to be replaced by “loss of confidence”, and “dismissal with real and serious cause”. These do not carry the same financial penalties, and immediate financial concerns were somewhat alleviated with the prospect of two month’s paid (but not served) notice.
However my ex-employer still maintained that my entries about work “brought the firm into disrepute”, took issue with my alleged use of work computers on company time, and, having been through my blog with a fine tooth comb, drew attention to that fact that there had been two half-day absences over the past four years for which I had apparently not disclosed the real reasons to the firm.
Update2: You can hear and watch Petite being interviewed by Channel 4. Just click on the ‘Watch the report’ link below the article.
Je maintiens ma premiÃ¨re impression : si Dixon Wilson a deux grammes de jugeotte, il transigera rapidement pour Ã©viter la crise en matiÃ¨re d’image qu’ils se sont provoquÃ©s tout seul et que Petite Anglaise puisse Ã©crire sur son blog “Tout est bien qui finit bien, je me suis rÃ©conciliÃ©e avec Dixon Wilson et nous nous quittons bons amis, je vous Ã©cris depuis mon yacht Ã Saint-tropez”.
Or, Dixon Wilson had better kiss and make up before they ruin their image entirely by themselves.