Could You Get Fired for Visiting Slashdot?

Fake News written by James Baughn on Sunday, October 25, 1998

from the oh-the-humanity! dept.

PADUCAH, KY -- Matt Johnson, an employee at Paradigm Shift Consulting, Inc., was fired from his programming job because of his addiction to Slashdot. Johnson typically visited Slashdot several times a day during working hours. Citing productivity problems, Johnson's boss gave him the pink slip and instituted a 'NoDot' policy -- no visiting Slashdot or related sites from the office, ever. Now Johnson has filed a lawsuit, claiming that his Slashdot addiction is protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Matt Johnson explained, "They discriminated against me because I'm a Dothead. Drug abuse and alcoholism are often considered handicaps. Why not Slashdot addiction?" Johnson's boss sees the situation differently. "Matt never got any work done. He was always visiting Slashdot, Freshmeat, or some other nerd website. And when he wasn't, he suffered withdrawl symptoms and couldn't think straight. A few months ago he spent eight consecutive hours posting comments in a KDE vs. GNOME flame war. I tried to offer assistance to overcome his addiction, but he refused. Enough is enough."

The company's 'NoDot' policy has been under fire as well. One anonymous employee said, "We can't visit Slashdot during coffee breaks or after hours because of Matt's addiction. This just sucks." Paradigm Shift enforces its NoDot policy by preventing access to Slashdot.org and a list of other sites through its corporate network. Some employees have circumvented the ban by bringing in laptops and connecting to the Net through cellular modems. "I can't go an entire day without getting my fix," another anonymous employee said. "I don't see anything wrong with visiting Slashdot during breaks."

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