How could Barber have embarrassed his employer if he doesnt directly say he works for them or directly say Allstate in his essay? Ihavent read his essay yet, but I am guessing, and I might be wrong, that thats the case.
I think the important thing is for us who have Allstate policies (as I do) to vote with our feet, and explain CLEARLY and LOUDLY to them why we are not doing business with them any longer.
My agent is going to get a polite but loud, clear and firm ear-full soon while I do seriously investigate alternatives. Now where's that GEICO junk mail I saved...
That was my first question. Did he write this online at work? Did he send it to other employees? Did he identify himself as an Allstate employee?
If he did none of those things then Allstate has gone overboard. If any of those are true then the company can fire him. Freedom of speech is guaranteed, he won't go to jail for it, but beyond that there are no guarantees.