F – fire H-him R-right I-in T-the P-public eye

Hydro One had a different take on the FHRITP phrase. Shauna Hunt, a City TV reporter was recently the victim of the F-Her Right In The P- outburst and decided to take a stand against the vulgar behaviour. She confronted the hecklers and explained their behaviour was disrespectful and degrading. She then asked why they would partake in such behaviour. The heckler continued to defend his actions and told her that it was hilarious. Hydro One, his employer, did not find this behaviour as comical.

Soon after the video went viral, the heckler was fired from his six figure salary. Hyrdo One argued that he had violated the company Code of Conduct and that they would not allow for any kind of harassment or discrimination within the environment.  Along with human rights issues, there can be criminal implications for yelling vulgar comments into a camera during a live broadcast.

Many individuals support Hydro One’s decision and believe this is an example to follow. For that reason, Hydro One redeemed their name and image in the face of bad publicity. Many people applaud Hydro One’s decision to terminate the hecklers job but some disagree.

Some individuals argue that the comment was not in a work setting thus it should not impact the employees’ job.  However, due to social media, it is easy for employers to see what you are doing outside of work.  Many companies expect their employees to respect basic human rights and not participate in discriminating behaviour, at least publicly, outside of work.  Consequently, some lawyers are arguing that the heckler should change his name as finding employment will now be challenging for him.

There has been an increasing trend of job terminations due to unacceptable employee behaviour on social media.  For instance, there was a man who wrote a nasty comment on the memorial page of Amanda Todd (the teenager who had committed suicide due to bullying) someone was able to identify him and contacted his employers which resulted in termination.

The power of social media is massive in today’s world.  A simple hash tag can start a trend against a company defaming them for intolerable practices which often results in change due to public pressure.  An inappropriate picture going viral can result in an individual losing their job where professionalism is a standard, especially if positions of authority.  Sometimes individual’s go through a tough day and just want to vent about their bosses or jobs on social media, this too can be detrimental to your position at work if discovered by the wrong person as it can result in libel and defamation charges.

Social media is a double edged sword; on one end it empowers us to take action against injustice and on the other end is makes us vulnerable to information being misconstrued.  As mentioned in my last post, Facebook pictures are now being used in personal injury cases to assess the validity of a plaintiff’s claims of suffering from depression.  Like it or not, social media has entered the legal sphere and it is here to stay.

Let me know you’ve read the piece by hitting the “like” button below! I’d love to hear your comments!

Discussion points:

1. Should the heckler have been fired?

2. Do you think social media should play a role in the legal realm?

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  1. It’s in the name: SOCIAL media. What you post on the internet is there forever and is accessible to many if not all individuals. People should be wary of this when posting anything online. Personally I am a more private person and do not find is necessary to post my every personal opinion, view or frustration on social media. Human interaction works just fine for me for that stuff. People lack the understand that social media is now being widely used as a professional forum for firms to network, expand their businesses, etc. Do what you want at the end of the day, but it is not difficult to maintain a certain level of etiquette while doing so.

    Yes, although this heckler was not in a work setting at the time, he was on public television openly portraying behaviour that is unacceptable in ALL settings. And then when confronted, he escalated the situation rather than realized that he was absolutely being inappropriate towards the reporter. What people do on their own time is absolutely and completely their own business as long as it does not post a threat to or negatively impact other individuals. I absolutely agree that he should have been fired. As an employer, I would not want someone like that working for me; I cannot condone such behaviour. Had he said something that was more ambiguous and is open to debate as to whether it was inappropriate comment or not, perhaps I would give the situation more thought, but this was outright wrong and rude.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment! I think many would agree with your take on this situation. Social media isn’t a private space like a diary as many individuals have access to your information. In fact, many people have access to information that we wouldn’t want them to have access to despite our best efforts to hide that information. We must be more careful with respect to what we post and making ourselves vulnerable. Finally, I completely agree with your comment about not condoning such inappropriate behaviour. Thanks for your comment! I hope to hear more from you on future posts.

      Liked by 1 person

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