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Man fired for posting Dilbert in office

In what may be the first documented case of an employee being fired for posting a Dilbert comic strip at the office, a Fort Madison (IL) man was fired back in October after pinning a Dilbert cartoonon a bulletin board that joked that management decisions were made by “drunken lemurs” (see cartoon).

In a recent state hearing for reviewing David Stewards unemployment benefits, it became public that Steward had been fired for “misconduct” by management after they used the casino’s surveillance tapes to find out who has posted the cartoon. Steward defended himself that posting the comic was meant to cheer some people up after management had notified employees that the casino was shutting down and that the 170 employees would be losing their jobs.

In the end, the Administrative Law Judge sided with Steward saying that posting the strip represented “‘a good-faith error in judgment,’ not intentional misbehavior.”

Community Comments

#1 Norm Feuti
December/19/2007
@ 7:03 am

This story hits close to home for me.

Fans often send me emails to tell me that Retail comic strips are hung all over their break rooms and stock rooms. One fan recently informed me that at her store, the manager keeps removing them from the employee lounge and threatened to fire the next person who posted one.

I was of course sympathetic, and made the analogy, “Could you imagine a cubicle worker getting fired for posting a Dilbert cartoon?” I guess I can imagine it now.

Sounds like these managers see a little too much of their own asinine behavior on the comics page. As far as I’m concerned, firing (or threatening to fire) an employee for hanging up a comic strip is nothing but an admission of guilt.

#2 Rick Ellis
December/19/2007
@ 7:35 am

Doesn’t Managment firing they guy for the cartoon prove the Dilbert strip correct? A bunch a drunken lemurs.

#3 J Read
December/19/2007
@ 8:37 am

I bet Scott Adams was sweating bullets for a while there, just praying this guy wasn’t gonna sue HIM for his part in getting the poor guy canned.

#4 Rich Diesslin
December/19/2007
@ 12:38 pm

I don’t get it though … they were going to lay them all off anyway, what was the real point of firing the guy first. Pointy-haired managers are alive and well. The dead horse gags going on now in Dilbert just crack me up.

The cycle where my wife used to work (Teletype Corp many, many years ago)was the Chicago press (or WSJ) would say layoffs were coming, management would deny it, then two weeks later layoffs would happen. After once or twice you’d think they’d just realize they had no credibility and should level with their employees, but noooooo … it never changed ;)

#5 Garey Mckee
December/20/2007
@ 12:29 am

I’ve had similar experiences as Norm. Writing a strip about police work, I also get alot of mail from guys on the job who read and post my strip in their stations. More often than not they all say the same thing, “I’m half afraid to post your strips at work because they hit too close to home” or something along those lines. I take it as a sign that I’m on the right track in my writing! Although, I would never want anyone to lose their job over it.

#6 A.S
December/22/2007
@ 4:56 am

Well I was a security officer at the casino. Everyone was upset over the boat being closed, especially those who had been there for a long time. The comic strip helped to boosted morale and made coming to work (just in case) a little easier. People were bad mouthing the bosses before the strip was posted and after. Why didnt they hire a person who could read lips to go through tapes and fire everyone who said anything bad, that would have cleared the place out quick. Why waste precious time looking for the “posting perpetrator” instead of looking for real criminals in a CASINO.. um maybe thieves or cheaters..

#7 Garey Mckee
December/22/2007
@ 11:05 pm

“Why waste precious time looking for the â??posting perpetratorâ? instead of looking for real criminals in a CASINO.. um maybe thieves or cheaters”

A.S, unfortunately that seems to be the way of the world. It’s a frustrating scenario I deal with day in and day out.

#8 Steve Skelton
January/25/2010
@ 2:41 pm

Do you really spend your days in the basement looking for arbitrary places to post unrelated gobbylygook on websites that have nothing to do with your link?

You should have stayed in Taliban training. It is more profitable.

#9 Eddie Pittman
March/16/2010
@ 11:54 pm

Wow, it’s a spam convention in here. Go sell crazy someplace else!

#10 R Pyle
March/17/2010
@ 9:02 am

Regarding the spam, I have one word for the blogmaster:

Akismet.

#11 Ted Rall
March/17/2010
@ 9:28 am

That bosses are humorless control freaks hardly needs repeating.

My work has sadly gotten a number of people in trouble, including members of the military who post them on base.

“Dilbert” remains subversive. One of my favorites–anything that mocks The Man threatens the power structure.

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March/31/2010
@ 2:46 am

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#13 daviduxresll
April/3/2010
@ 10:50 pm

Do many people obtain the Monday right after Easter off from work in large businesses? Is that a normal paid holidayfor jobs givingpaid vacations?

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