By KATHIANNE BONIELLO
Posted: 2:32 AM, January 2, 2011
Read more from the New York Post article.
The lawsuit states the following:
“6. Despite her unquestioned commitment to the Company, Ms. Tagocon was subject to unlawful discrimination for engaging in lawful recreational activities on her personal time, outside of work.
7. Specifically, for years Plaintiff has been a blogger and a novelist, about issues wholly unrelated to her employment with JP Morgan, a fact that she made no attempt to hide during her employment.
8. Indeed, at the time that Ms. Tagocon was offered employment by Defendant, the Head of her Department, __, and her Manager, __, knew that she was a novelist and raised no objections to her novels and blog.
9. However, in June 2010, when Ms. Tagocon was reviewing Defendant’s 2010 Code of Conduct, she discovered that Defendant had a policy of prohibiting its employees from posting certain information on the internet, even during their free time.
10. Although Ms. Tagocon knew that her novels and blogs were wholly unrelated to her employment at JP Morgan, she approached members of the Company’s management and human resources to confirm that her actions did not violate the Code of Conduct in any way.
11. When meeting with the Company’s representatives, Ms. Tagocon reaffirmed that her blogs and novels were of a personal nature and were unrelated to any of the work that she did for JP Morgan, nor did she use any information related to her employment in producing either her blog or her novels.
12. Plaintiff further explained that she uses a penname, has never revealed whom she works for on any public forum and that all of her blogging and writing was conducted outside of work hours using her own personal equipment.
13. Despite Ms. Tagocon’s explanations, she was informed that the Company would terminate her employment unless she took down her blog, completely ceased marketing her novels, and signed the Code of Conduct.
14. When Plaintiff refused to accede to these facially outrageous demands, Defendant terminated her employment without further explanation.
15. At no point did the Company tell her that her termination was warranted due to her performance or due to any other factor.
16. Plaintiff was informed of her termination, effective August 7, 2010, on July 23, 2010 and was instructed to not return to the office after July 23, 2010.”
Marilyn found out on June 11, 2010 that this is an example of what JP Morgan Chase (JPMC) employees may NOT post on the internet on their own time: “I think the financial services industry is over-regulated and should be governed by market forces only.”
Ten months earlier, her husband became seriously ill. He has since been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Marilyn is the sole breadwinner of the family.
When JPMC’s representatives informed Marilyn to choose between her job and writing, it was a choice between her livelihood and freedom of speech, a choice between freedom outside of work and putting her family at grave economic risk, a choice between her family’s well-being and her self-respect, a choice between excruciating mental anguish and hating herself 24/7 for betraying her principles.
I know of her mental anguish and of her family’s pride in her decision because I am Marilyn Tagocon.