Oprah staff balks at No Phone Zone pledge

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Oprah wants people to hang up and drive -- you, me, and all of her employees.

And her staff is miffed about it.

Sources told Radar Online today that the Chicago talk-show queen made Harpo Productions employees sign a pledge not to talk on cell phones -- even with hands-free devices -- in their cars.

"Some were complaining that they had just purchased hands-free devices and now they can't use them," one source told Radar. "They're worried this will hurt them from doing their jobs. Some employees talk on the phone while drive because they are under deadlines and their jobs are not 9-to-5."

The pledge was not mandatory, but like any office politics the employees felt pressured. "It was pretty clear to everyone that it would not be good to resist signing it," one insider said. "You don't mess with Oprah."

Oprah's pledge, which she's encouraged the public to apply, reads like this: "I pledge to make my car a No Phone Zone. Beginning right now, I will do my part to help put an end to distracted driving by not texting or using my phone while I am driving. I will ask other drivers I know to do the same. I pledge to make a difference."

As many people have pointed out, including in comments on this blog, it's likely easier for a very rich, often limo-driven celebrity to bark about the dangers of this problem.

What do you think? Have dictates of your boss ever crossed over into your personal life?

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4 Comments

I think it's a great thing. People don't realize how distracted they really are when they are chatting away on the phone whether it is hands free or not. And then you have the stupid people out there who are texting too. Yes, they ARE stupid. And texting at a right light is just as bad as doing it when you are in motion. You must stay aware in a vehicle and be aware of everything around you. The No Phone zone is a great campaign.

She made it very clear she does not want all her employees conducting any of her business meaning Harpo or any other of her affiliates. If they choose to text or use the phone while driving it MUST not be anything to do with their employment. Any business can make rules that benefits them If her employees want to go ahead and text or call to do personal business that is on them. But she outlawed it for Harpo's business. This does not break any labor laws just don't text or talk on the phone while driving for anything involving her business. Offices have laws do not text or talk on the phone during work hours, even classrooms have the same rules. So hey the complaining employees should suck it up or get a job where business is conducted on the phone while driving.

Does Oprah drive her own car? I didn't think so.

This chick is really going too far and if you let me tell it, she's bordering on breaking labor laws. I'm sure some lawyer is sitting around figuring a way to put together a class action lawsuit for her employees. It's as simple as they felt they'd be retaliated against if they didn't take part in this pledge.

Also, Oprah probably rarely drives a car so the idea that folk who have kids, spouses, sick family members,etc. would not use their cell-phones while driving is just plain foolish. People need to get over this "don't use your cell-phone while driving" bullshit as there were distractions in your car long before the cell-phone came along. The bottomline is that if your mind is too focused on anything else while driving you are more likely to cause an accident.... PERIOD!! What's next, duck taping the babies mouths shut so that they don't distract you while your driving?? Oprah needs to stay in her lane! Rich folk are often times the most unrealistic people ever!

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on February 10, 2010 6:07 PM.

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