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MENLO PARK (CBS 5) – A Bay Area yoga instructor says she is out of a job after a nonverbal attempt to enforce a no cellphone policy during a recent session at Facebook.
Alice Evelyn Van Ness was teaching her class the Half Moon pose on the campus of the Social Network when she noticed a student typing on her smartphone. She said she then gave the student a disapproving look.
“Like…’do you really need to do that right now? Is that really necessary at this exact moment?’” recalled Van Ness.
Two weeks later, her employer – Plus One Health Management – gave Van Ness a letter that said in part:
“We are in the business of providing great customer service…unless a client requires us to specifically say no to something, we prefer to say yes to whenever possible.”
Plus One fired her from teaching her three classes at Facebook and one class at Cisco, costing her about a third of her salary.
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:
“I’ve been told to let the students do what they want with their phone. This has never happened to me. And I don’t like it,” said Van Ness. “If I’m in an environment where I’m not appreciated and my skills aren’t valued, then that’s not a place I want to teach in, and unfortunately that’s what’s going on there.”
Darcy Elman owns Blue Iris Studio and is proud of Van Ness for taking a stand.
“I was incredulous,” said Elman. “How much is enough? How much social media? How much emailing and text and checking in with our friends, how much is enough?”
Facebook released a statement saying:
“Alice Van Ness was not an employee of Facebook, so we are not able to discuss this matter.”
Plus One did not respond to calls or emails.
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