We all know by now that anything you say or do, unless you’re locked in your house, alone, with the blinds closed and all technology turned off, can come back to haunt you.
But sometimes we need a reminder that what you post on social media can cost you dearly, and even get you fired from your job. Here are 14 Canadians who learned that the hard way.
Some of these offenses are definitely far worse than others. The results, however, were the same.
Two Toronto firefighters, Matt Bowman and Lawaun Edwards, lost their jobs in 2013, according to the Sun, after posting “misogynistic and offensive tweets.” One post by Bowman read, “I’d never let a woman kick my ass. If she tried I’d be like HEY! You get your b—- ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie.” Another by Edwards asked if smacking a woman in the back of the head would be considered “abuse or a way to reset the brain.” The posts were deemed to be in violation of city policy. The men challenged their dismissals. Bowman’s was upheld and Edwards was reinstated.
Sunith Baheerathan, a Toronto area Mr. Lube employee lost his job in 2013 after he tried to use Twitter to source some pot and get it delivered. City News reports that Baheerathan tweeted the message, “Any dealers in Vaughan wanna make a 20sac chop? Come to Keele/Langstaff Mr. Lube, need a spliff.” Unfortunately, the York Regional Police saw it and reposted it. Baheerathan was then fired.
An unidentified London, Ontario man was fired in 2012 after he was caught trolling a memorial website dedicated to Amanda Todd, a 15 year old B.C. girl who committed suicide after years of being bullied. The unnamed man posted either “It’s about time this b**** died,” or “Thank god the b**** is dead,” according to different reports. A woman who saw the posts somehow tracked him down to his employer, Toronto-based men’s retailer Mr. Big and Tall, and the company then stated that they had let him go.
Damian Goddard, an on-air Sportsnet host, lost his job after he tweeted his support for hockey agent Todd Reynold’s anti-gay marriage stance. Goddard was axed by TV network Rogers media in 2011 after he posted the tweet, “I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.” Rogers tweeted its own message saying, “Today’s tweet from Damian Goddard does not reflect the views of Rogers Sportsnet,” and Goddard was fired.
Christopher Maximilian Sandau is a B.C. neo-Nazi who lost his job as a hockey coach at the North Delta Minor Hockey Association in 2014 over Nazi propaganda he posted on Facebook. CTV news reported that the page, “featured images of swastikas and Adolf Hitler, and propaganda suggesting the Holocaust in Europe during the Second World War didn’t take place.” Sandau reportedly complained that he was “treated unfairly” and argued that he is not a Nazi but a “history buff.” If there ever was any actual pretense he has since apparently dropped it and gone full Nazi on both Twitter and Facebook (warning: extremely offensive material at those links).
An unnamed Canada Post clerk with 31 years’ experience was fired in 2009 for trashing management and the company on Facebook. The Star reported that the Edmonton woman posted 30 postings containing “derogatory, mocking statements about her supervisors and Canada Post. In several comments the woman suggested she had a voodoo doll of one supervisor and if she hadn’t been drinking, ‘she would take her out on the driveway and run her over.’”
Seven employees of the Farm Boy grocery chain were fired for dissing the Ottawa company on Facebook. Way back in 2007 the employees posted in a forum called “I got Farm Boy’d,” which had 186 members. The seven were axed for “making verbal attacks against customers and staff and breaching the company’s code of ethics,” said Farm Boy president Donny Milito at the time, according to Canada.com. “No one was terminated for simply posting on a website,” said Milito. “We have always been about respecting our customers and employees. … In the end I felt we had to stand up and defend ourselves in the best interest of our customers.”
One poster wrote, “I deal with stupid customers that yell at me. It’s loads of fun. I would suggest you never try it. Unless you like ugly uniforms and taking turns go (sic) out in the cold to get carts for lazy customers.”
Today’s lesson? You never know who’s watching. Be careful.
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