Friday, December 13 2013 1:34 PM EST2013-12-13 18:34:39 GMT
With the holiday season in full swing, parties are taking place across the area. But a local church found out recently that not all guests have the best intentions. A bold burglar was caught on camera,More >>
With the holiday season in full swing, parties are taking place across the area. But a local church found out that not all guests have the best intentions.More >>
Friday, December 13 2013 1:18 PM EST2013-12-13 18:18:21 GMT
In court documents filed this week Harvey Updyke requested his monthly payment to be reduced from $500 to $50. Updyke's attorney argued paying $500 a month would cause him substantial hardship. CourtMore >>
In court documents filed this week Harvey Updyke requested his monthly payment to be reduced from $500 to $50.More >>
House Republicans are rallying behind a modest budget pact that promises to bring a temporary halt to budget brinkmanship in Washington and ease automatic budget cuts that would otherwise slam the Pentagon and...More >>
In a story Dec. 13 about the House passing a budget bill to ease automatic spending cuts, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., voted in favor of the legislation. Hoyer voted against the...More >>
Friday, December 13 2013 12:35 PM EST2013-12-13 17:35:28 GMT
12 News Defenders is back with a new warning on a scam targeting cell phone users. The scam is reported as being a call received from a 1-800 number saying that the person has been selected for a discountMore >>
12 News Defenders is back with a new warning on a scam targeting cell phone users.More >>
GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -
You've probably engaged in personal conversations at work around the water cooler about all sorts of idle chit chat, but one local township office wants to eliminate that chatter for good.
A new policy would mean Flushing Township employees can only talk business during business hours.
Now, some employees have come forward to say that this is a violation of their most basic right.
Julia Morford spoke with TV5 about the proposed speech restrictions at Flushing Township Hall. Morford is the township clerk, and under the new rules, she and others can only talk business while they're on the clock. Supervisor Rian Birchmeier put the new policy in place in late July. Morford doesn't think it's necessary.
"I don't agree with it," said Morford. "There's times when we want to talk about crafts or family or things like that. And as long as the employees get their work done, that's the main thing."
Morford also believes the new rules hurt morale in the workplace. "It does make it kind of stressful," she stated.
TV5 reached out to Birchmeier with questions about what can and can't be said in the workplace. He refused our request for an interview, and says he has no comment on the issue.
Some residents say the new policy is full of hot air.
Talk about the "no talk" policy is a hot topic around town. Resident David Battles doesn't agree with it.
"He's a rat hiding behind a barn door. That's basically what it is," said Battles. "Anytime you allow somebody to dictate what you can talk about, you're giving up some freedom. And I just don't think that's right."
But township resident Adam Jones said he likes the policy. "Business is business," said Jones, who went on to say that it's his tax dollars at work. "They shouldn't be in there talking about what they saw on TV last night," Jones went on. "They should be in there fixing the problems we have in our community."
In the end, Morford knows that work comes first and that talk must come later, but to her it's all about finding a happy medium. "You have to have a high morale in the office," said Morford. "And you can't do that when you restrict the employees."
[Text "TV5" to 38102 to get breaking news alerts on your mobile phone]
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
WSFA Online Poll
Do you think Flushing Township employees' free speech is being violated by the new policy?
Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far: