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Should Spreading Gossip Be Grounds For Firing?

Show me an office that doesn't have employees who gossip, and it's sure to be one of a kind. Some gossip is less harmful than others, like when workers chat among themselves about possible changes in the company. When something is brewing, it can make everyone feel better to discuss the possibilities together instead of mulling over them alone.

That being said, I think it's safe to say that more gossip is harmful than it is comforting. And any way you spin it, it's tough to call any form of gossiping a productive use of time at the office. Perhaps this is why Montana based online printing company has a no-gossip policy in place.

New hires are required to sign the company's "agreement to values," and one employee recalls the human resources manager explaining, "There’s no back-stabbing here, and no office politics. Gossiping and talking behind someone’s back are not tolerated." It's the first I've heard of an employer taking preemptive action against office gossip. Is it a fair policy?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
bonniebonnie bonniebonnie 7 years
My office's gossiping is terrible. It's led to an environment where decisions are based on "perception, not reality." That is actually policy where I work!
liz26111 liz26111 7 years
I really think it depends on where you work. Where I currently work, gossip is a big thing. But we are not breaking any ethical code or law in doing so. At my last job gossip also happened but on a lesser degree.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I think it should definitely be grounds for firing. I work in a medical lab and we can get in BIG TIME trouble if say, we find out that someone who works in the lab is pregnant via the pregnancy screen and spread the word around without the pregnant person's consent. That happened once and after the entire lab knew this one woman was pregnant, it turned out she miscarried and hadn't wanted the news about her being pregnant to spread yet. The woman who started the gossip chain got fired for violating HIPAA regulations.
jelibeann jelibeann 7 years
I think it should depend on the level of gossip and how it affects others in the office. Trust me, I am not one to avoid gossip, so much, but I do keep my work circle very, very small. And I may be a tad biased in suggesting people be severely punished, if not fired...I recently gave my notice (6 weeks...trying to be generous and thoughtful) and a co-worker who I've worked with for 6.5 years suddenly started spreading awful rumors about me and the girl I share an office with...completely making up stories about what she claims she heard us talking about...saying she heard us "whispering," but can't say about what. The whole thing is just so bizarre and this is a woman I've never had a problem with - not to mention, in an office of mostly recent college grads, she is almost point being, she should clearly know better. Not only does it make her look pathetic and unprofessional, but it makes me feel like I have to spend my last six weeks trying to play clean up! Not cool.
Miss-Tina Miss-Tina 7 years
Most all people who I previously worked with that spread gossip spent much more time spreading that gossip than they ever did working. I also think that some of the levels of gossip these people go to really should be grounds for termination. You can be sued for slander, and if your company condones their employees doing it on their time they are putting themselves at risk if they have a sue happy person being slandered! I have known a few people who were fired and gossip was one of their reasons, but never their only! It seems that they also slip up on other things while gossiping.
weffie weffie 7 years
I think firing someone is a little extreme, but it would be nice to have a strict policy to cite when trying to shut someone up :)
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
I stay out of gossip 100% in the workplace. Wish the same could be said of my personal life!
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