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Government employee suspended from her job for posting nude selfies

Most people sext at work. Is it fair to suspend them when the photos are for public consumption?


Jenny Kutner
August 7, 2014 1:46AM (UTC)

A Swiss government worker was recently suspended from her job as a parliament secretary when her amateur porn photos -- which sometimes took the form of nude selfies captured in her office at the Federal House in Berne -- became a national sensation. The woman, known by the Internet aliases A. or Adeline Lafouine, initially asserted that tweeting the photos was part of her "private life," although she also told a Swiss newspaper that worries over her coworkers finding her nude photos were "on [her] mind almost constantly." According to a Swiss Federal Personnel Office spokesperson, government employees are expected only to post images online "that you would at any time show your colleagues, employees or superiors."

While the FPO guidelines are called a "recommendation," the policy has been instrumental in having A. removed (at least temporarily) from her job. But it's unclear what is the bigger issue prompting the government to suspend her: Is it that she posted nude photos online, or that she was taking them during work hours?

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According to the Swiss paper Neue Zuercher Zeitung, it sounds like the government has a problem with the latter. A. has been called out for imparing "the reputation and prestige of the federal government" by taking nude photos of herself in her office, which happens to be much more common than anyone would've anticipated. BetaBeat reports that most sexting occurs on Tuesdays between 10 a.m. and noon, or during business hours for most adults.

But most adults don't, in fact, post their nude photos for nearly 12,000 Twitter followers to see, which actually appears to be the central issue in A.'s suspension. While it's understandable for the government to reprimand an employee for participating in a private activity ostensibly during work hours and then posting the evidence online, that doesn't seem to be quite why this employee is facing the potential of losing her job. Rather, it seems like the problem is that she was naked and an amateur porn model, thereby representing the government "poorly" -- not because she wasn't working at work, but because she was naked and an amateur porn model. The situation is complicated, but one thing is clear: There's plenty of room for skepticism about the reasons for A.'s dismissal.

(h/t Gawker)

 


Jenny Kutner

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