The Columbus Blue Jackets announced that Mike Babcock had resigned as head coach of the team on Sunday, prior to the start of the season and without coaching a single game for the franchise. He was hired in July to replace Brad Larson, who was fired from the team after two losing seasons.
Details behind the resignation
Babcock resigns after former NHL player “Spittin’ Chicklets” Podcast Host Paul Bissonnette claimed on his show that when Babcock was hired he demanded players turn in their personal cellphones.
Babcock and team captain Boone Jenner both released statements downplaying the allegations made by Bissonnette.
“When meeting with our players and staff, I asked them to share family photos from their phones as part of the process of getting to know them better. Nothing more than that,” Babcock said. “The way it was portrayed on the Spittin’ Chicklets podcast was a gross misrepresentation of those meetings and extremely offensive.
“These meetings have been very important and beneficial, not only to me but also to our players and staff, and to characterize them this way is irresponsible and completely inaccurate.”
Jenner also confirmed that she was asked to share the photos, but said she was happy to do so.
“During my meeting with Babs she asked me about my family and where I’m from, my upcoming wedding and things related to hockey. Then she asked if I had pictures of my family and asked me to share something with her. Happy to do. They showed me pictures of their family,” Jenner said. “I thought it was a great first date and a good way for us to start building a relationship. It’s really disappointing to blow it out of proportion.”
But the NHL Players’ Association said after Jenner and Babcock released statements that it has sent its executive director and assistant executive director to Columbus to investigate Bissonnette’s allegations.
The Blue Jackets ownership group also released a statement saying it was “deeply disappointed and disappointed by the events of last week.”
What if my boss asks to see my personal information?
Unlike NHL players, who have a union to support them, most American workers do not belong to any union. Federal laws generally don’t protect workers when employers request personal information, such as social media passwords, according to Camille Hebert, an Ohio State University professor who teaches about labor law.
However, some states have adopted laws that prevent employers from requesting access to personal digital information such as cellphone photos or social media passwords, Hebert said. The National Conference of State Legislatures says there are 27 states that have adopted laws that apply to employers. Ohio is not among the states where the Blue Jackets play.
“Some employees, job applicants and students have expressed concerns about requests from employers or educational institutions for access to usernames or passwords for personal social media accounts.” National Conference of State Legislatures said. “They consider such requests to be an invasion of employees’ privacy, like reading a diary or requiring a visit to their home.”
Although there is no specific federal law that prohibits employers from asking for personal digital information, Hebert said workers still have a right to privacy.
“The biggest problem is that the law doesn’t work the way most people think the law works,” he said.
“There is a claim called a common law right to privacy that Ohio recognizes and the question would be whether this is a violation of that,” he said. “I would argue that it is.”
She said she advises workers not to use their personal phones for work purposes because employers should have no trouble gaining access to a personal phone or password if it is never used for work purposes. is done.
Hebert said, “Does the employer have any justification? I want to know your family just because I’m curious about what your photos might look like.” “Like that’s no justification.”
He said employers are free to view photos and messages sent publicly, but messages sent privately may be different.
“You have no right to privacy [with] Things that you transmit on the Internet, that’s generally what the courts say,” he added, “but if they’re private photos, photos on your phone that you haven’t shared publicly, then the question This is whether an employer has the right to do so? I think the answer is generally no, unless they have a really good reason.”
However, even with privacy laws in place, workers face difficulties challenging employers who may ask for personal information.
“I think the answer is that employees unfortunately have relatively few privacy rights in the workplace because the courts are not very protective of those rights,” he said.
That’s one reason Hebert said she’s a supporter of labor unions.