The discussion about that guy who got fired for FHRITPing the reporter is turning into something quite long, so I decided to make it into a separate topic. For all interested, the discussion started here:https://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=214010.msg11246117#msg11246117
Now, going to where we stopped...
That varies from state to state in the U.S., but in my state it's entirely possible to fire someone for no reason other than "this person didn't work out in this job". Mind you, if that's the only reason given the employee would be very likely to be able to force the employer to pay unemployment compensation, but that doesn't prevent the company from doing the firing in the first place.
Ah. But, IMHO, it means that the law there recognizes such a thing as being fired for no good reason. If it's possible to get compensation for that...
Competence at work is rarely the only issue. Each employee generally also has to be able to get along with other employees, for example. Knowing what this person did during his "free time" would certainly make me (and very probably a large percentage of other women) prefer to avoid him, which could have an adverse affect on the business if we were required to work together.
Really? I'm not sure I want to play the guy's advocate here, but we really don't know anything about him, do we? At work, he might the most personable and well-mannered person ever. Are we sure that his female co-workers wouldn't want to work with him after that one thing he did?
If that happened, if it turned out that this FHRITP situation makes it impossible for him to work at this job anymore, then I can see him getting fired... but that's not what happened here. He was fired *immediately*, which really seems excessive to me.
This was not a "stupid prank"; this was a sexually-charged threat, made in public, that broke the law.
I'm really not sure if what he did really counts as a threat - it's not like he really wanted that reporter to get raped. But I agree that it was lewd, inappropriate and could be considered a case of verbal abuse. I support him being punished - I just don't think that it's his employer's business to do so.
For the record, using," We don't want to be associated with someone who says such things on public television," Is a valid excuse for employment termination around here.
Really? It really feels like a case of overreaction on the company's side in that case. I mean, would really anyone "associate" that company with this one guy? Would it really hurt their business, or something like that?
This is why I put forth the possibility that a conversation with HR was in order. Is this a one-time thing? Does the employee take responsibility for what was done? Does the employee have a way to prevent future occurrences?
But if, say, this case of being drunk happened outside of the job, then why should the HR even be allowed to talk with this employee about this? If something happened outside of the job, then it's the employee's private matter. The employer shouldn't be sticking their nose into it...
It may, however, have a bearing on how trustworthy or dependable the person is. Taking our drunk office assistant as an example: Said office assistant is responsible for filing clients' records. Both being intoxicated and being hung over can impact someone's thought processes. An important document misfiled could lead to severe consequences.
Sure, but there's such a thing like giving someone the benefit of the doubt. It'd really be a long stretch to say "This person got drunk on a Friday night outing with friends, so they probably will get drunk while on the job, too". Using that logic, you can fire anyone for any reason - you can cast this sort of suspicion on everyone... No-one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes.
Did they work with the public? Did they have to interact with women - either inside or outside of the company - on a daily basis? If you were a woman, would you feel comfortable interacting with a guy you had seen on the news, shouting what he did, and for the reasons that he did? Would you want your mother, sister, or daughter to have to interact with him?
I honestly don't know. As I said to Valerian, this guy could be the most well-mannered person ever on an ordinary day. Should a person really be judged because of one-time case of being a jerk?
There are rules that govern when an employee can be terminated for things such as whistle-blowing and retaliation: e.g., an employer cannot fire an employee for reporting illegal conduct to a regulator. But aside from that, yes, most employers have the right to decide who they pay to do work for them. The employee does not have a right to the job--that is, they don't have a right to make the employer give them the employer's money. To keep their jobs, they need to provide what the employer seeks. And most employers care about both how the employee functions in their specific role, as well as the influence they have on the work environment/other team members.
But was there any evidence of this guy having a bad influence on his work enviroment? He was fired immediately after that whole matter came to light, which, to me, smacks like a company throwing him under a bus just in case. And I think this kind of attitude is wrong.
To stay employed, you should be good at your job, and you should be good as a person. The idiot in that article may have been the former, but he evidently wasn't the latter.
Okay, this kind of approach really opens all kinds of Pandora's boxes. You need to be a good person to stay employed? Okay, so... let's say an employee cheats on his wife and his employer learns about it. Would it be okay for them to fire him?
Also, I would say that, overall, the notion of "you need to be a good person to stay employed" is simply not true. Many companies actually tolerate - or even encourage - their employees being jerks. Heck, there are studies that show that quite a few of successful businessmen are highly-functioning psychopaths. Overall, in the business world people are usually *not* being punished for being bad. So, why should this one guy be?
Finally, if we're speaking about the possiblity of that heckler guy not being tolerated by his employees because of what did... what happened to the idea of "you don't have to like someone to work with them"? I can imagine the women (as well as the more sensible men) in the company giving him a cold shoulder from now on... so? Does it mean that he wouldn't be able to do his job? And does it mean that these other people wouldn't be able to do their jobs because of having to see him occassionally?
If the employee were to sexually harass or threaten a coworker, the company would be exposed to liability because they didn't take suitable precautions based on his previous action.
Same if he were to molest or rape someone he worked with, or was on company property.
Same if anyone else there did something like that, because the corporation could be argued to have a policy accepting of the attitude/threats/behavior.
Okay, I must say that: seriously? Would it be possible for a company to get sued successfully, if they didn't fire the heckler and *some other guy* molested someone while being employed there.
Seriously, this is ridiculous!
Publicity is a very real cost for a company, both negative (continuing to employ and be associated with someone like that) and positive (being seen to take a firm stance on personal rights, decency, and not being a twat). You may not have influence on that, but at some point there's a consumer - an elected public official who decides what contractor to employ or women who think paying a bit more for services is worth not risking that tech being assigned to their service issue.
I seriously can't imagine a thinking public official who would punish a whole company for something one of their employees did when out of work. Come on.
I *can* understand female clients who wouldn't want to meet this guy - but we actually don't know if this guy ever dealt with the clients. From what we know, he was an engineer there.
Finally, as I already said earlier, expecting the company to take a stance regarding the "decency" of their employee's private lives could lead to all kind of wrongs...