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What you do in your free time is not your business

Jaclyn Jaeger | October 11, 2017

Time and again, situations arise in the public eye that should serve as a warning to all employees, especially senior executives. One of those warnings: What you do (and say) in your free time is not always your business.

One recent example occurred last week, when television broadcasting company CBS fired its then-senior legal executive, Hayley Geftman-Gold, after she commented on Facebook in response to the Las Vegas massacre that she is “actually not even sympathetic [because] country music fans often are Republican gun toters.” Geftman-Gold later apologized for what she said was an “indefensible post,” but not before CBS fired her for violating the company’s standards.

Geftman-Gold’s firing was the second incident in less than a week in which a senior executive made headlines, and was consequently punished, for inappropriate behavior. In the second incident, KB Home CEO Jeffrey Mezger was caught on an audio recording spewing a...

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