US company subpoenas Yahoo! to out anonymous critic, then fires him

Paul Levy of the nonprofit group Public Citizen writes:

I want to call your attention to the newest Internet free speech case
that we have filed.

The case (…) involves a large company that misused legal process to obtain a subpoena to identify and retaliate against one of its employees. The company,
Allegheny Electric, through its attorneys at the well-known firm of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, filed a John Doe action in Pennsylvania state court against a poster on a Yahoo! message board who identified himself as an employee and criticized various actions of management that was driving its stock value down, including, according to the employee, the company's racial sensitivity training which he felt was wasteful. The company claimed that the use of racially offensive language to characterize the program violated company policies. However, after the company used the lawsuit to subpoena Yahoo! and obtained the employee's identity, it dismissed the lawsuit but fired the employee.

This case typifies the nightmare scenario the underlies much or our
work in the Internet anonymity area– we worry that companies and
politicians are bringing John Doe suits more to find out who their
critics are than for a real purpose of pursuing such cases to judgment.

A few years ago, lawyers like Bruce Fischman and others, trolling for
business on behalf of those offended by online criticism made no bones
about the reasons for bringing these cases, but since we started
pointing to the public statements they have become much more
circumspect. This case shows that the problem of bad faith use of Doe
subpoenas is a continuing problem.

Link to lawsuit details. (thanks, Mike Outmesguine)