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badice.com ~ travel musings for the masses

A story has been weaving its way around the internet about an American Airlines web designer being fired after responding to a complaint from a user. I have watched as some big names in the web space have ripped AA apart for their firing of the designer, claiming that AA.com is terribly designed and letting someone go who had ideas is a horrible decision.

Every single criticism of AA ignores the most obvious detail, that the employee broke the terms of his NDA. This type of attitude seems to be the norm in society now, that the violator is somehow the victim. Sure, I agree that it is probably a bad idea to fire someone who has ideas that could have a positive affect on a website or company, but at the same time what kind of example does it set for the rest of your employees if you allow someone to blatantly break the terms of their agreement?

Sometimes, things need to be called out for being right and being wrong, no matter how you feel about the tertiary aspects of the issue.

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  1. November 10, 2009

    Common sense!!! Thanks for posting!

  2. November 16, 2009

    He could have given those opinions and ideas to AA, but instead he violated the nondisclosure agreement he signed.

    From the article above, I didn’t see any “trade secrets” that were disclosed, but I haven’t read the whole response either.

    While it’s well within AA’s rights to let him go, it might be a bit rash for an employee who was acting in what he thought were the company’s best interests. If he didn’t have any other disciplinary actions related to this type of thing, I think they may have gone a tad bit too far.

  3. November 16, 2009

    I can understand his frustration with being in a slow moving corporate environment but I would assume that he’s been there a while and understands the system. While it may be a bit rash for AA to let him go, if he did violate the NDA and they didn’t let him go, what would be the best course of action?

    The designer’s best course of action would have been a well put together presentation for his higher ups.

    The bad part of this whole thing is that it has stirred up controversy that really isn’t controversy at all.

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