The blog that turned my life upside down

The case of a British secretary, sacked from her job in Paris for keeping an internet diary, has highlighted the predicament of how companies deal with blogging employees.

by The Sunday Times
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

The case of Catherine - known only by her Christian name, but more famous under her internet alias La Petite Anglaise - is set to become a test of French labour law as her former employers, the accountancy firm Dixon Wilson, accuse her of betraying their confidence in the blog which attracts 3,000 daily readers.

Her bosses got wind of the site in April this year, resulting in her being told to clear her desk and being escorted from the building. Now she is at the mercy of the French legal system and is hoping to sue the firm for up to £54,000 at an employment tribunal.

Although La Petite Anglaise is about her private life, and has never identified her employers, Dixon Wilson took umbrage at a handful of work-related entries. Some mocking of her quintessentially English "old school" boss, and a tale of embarrassment when a video conference webcam focused on her low-cut jumper, were enough to terminate her employment.

She isn't the first to lose her job because of a blog - and is unlikely to be the last. A recent survey by MSN Spaces shows that there is a blogging epidemic, with 7 million regular bloggers in the UK alone. Some 56% of bloggers are women, according to statistics.

Other bloggers to be sacked for their online diaries include Jessica Cutler, the Senate aide who wrote about sexual mischief on Capitol Hill in 2004 and Dooce, a famous female American blogger who was also dismissed for blogging from (and about) work.

Source: The blog that turned my life upside down
The Sunday Times, July 23, 2006

Review by James Curtis

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