This post is the first in a series on the law governing whether employees can be fired for blogging about their work.
A blogger's rights depend on whether his or her employment contract allows termination at-will or only for cause. Under an at-will contract, an employee can usually be fired for any reason or no reason. The employer can fire someone because he has come to work in a bad mood and decided "Gee, I feel like firing someone, let's pick a name out of a hat." A just clause contract, naturally, requires that the employer have a reasonable justification for termination.
Since at-will employees can be fired just because their boss is cranky, they can also be fired for blogging. A few exceptions may apply. For example, even an at-will employee is protected by laws against discrimination. Ellen Simonetti, a Delta flight attendant fired for blogging mildly suggestive pcitures of herself in uniform on Delta planes claims that male flight attendants were not fired for similar blogs.queenofsky. If true, her dismissal might violate antidiscrimination laws.
Employees receive more protection under a just cause contract, but still owe a duty of loyalty to their employer. A blogger may violate this duty by badmouthing the company or coworkers, or by disclosing confidential information.