The Pledge of Loyalty is part of the baptismal of fire when you enter an organization. When you become part of a group, you are obliged to follow the pledge or if you cannot, just leave. And this will play a crucial role in the discussion of this case study.
On the first question of Allen Lopez retaining his job, while the First Amendment states that Lopez’ airing of grievance is protected under the Freedom of Expression, he is, however, in conflict with the crime of defamation and for not observing employment restrictions and loyalty oaths. So while he is allowed to use whatever medium to state his feelings and ideas, the law allows his company to fire him for he endangers the security of his company’s workforce.
On the second question on whether Lopez be forced to remove his website, the company may do one of two things. First, the company may petition for Temporary Restraining Order that will be issued by the court which will then order Lopez to freeze the website or to bring it down temporarily before the court decides on whether putting up the website did violate company laws as stated in the loyalty pledge. Second is to sue Lopez for damages and include in their motion that he bring down the website to curb further attacks on the company’s image.
Lastly, on how ExtremeNet’s executives will respect Lopez’s rights and dignity, it is best for ExtremeNet to simply ask the court to bring the website down especially if it did not pose any significant negative effects in the dealings of the company. Allen Lopez has been a good employee and was only fighting for the welfare of the lower ranking employees. But still, it is in the discretion of ExtremeNet to either fire or retain Allen Lopez in the company.
FindLaw. First Amendment – Freedom of Expression. <accessible at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/ >
eLaws. Employment Law Guide. <accessible at http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/ >