If you have Internet access, chances are you've heard of the #FHRITP incident involving Canadian reporter, Shauna Hunt. If you have somehow managed to stay clear of social media for the last few days, here is a brief recap.
On May 9, a group of men decided to heckle the Toronto CityNews reporter while she was conducting a live interview at a Toronto FC soccer game. The male fans shouted sexually explicit comments at her -- and it was all captured on live TV. Hunt cut her interview short only to turn the camera on the men, interrogating them as to why they would bother to hover around her interview specifically waiting to yell the FHRITP phrase into her microphone. The interaction went viral and one of the men (a public worker) was recognized by his employer and has consequently been terminated from his job.
Here at Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA), we've spent a lot of time in the last few days discussing the incident, especially the firing of the employee. While some of us agree that the punishment is fair, others believe that though these men acted idiotically on live TV, being fired is a bit excessive.
We decided to reach out to our PTPA community to see what real families had to say about this ongoing conversation. Over 500 people answered a brief survey about their thoughts on if/how their behavior in their private lives should have any effect on their work lives.
While a staggering 77 per cent of respondents strongly believed that what you do on your own time should have no bearing on your employment, 72 per cent agree that certain comments or behaviour on social media during off hours could be reason for dismissal. Additionally, 68 per cent of those polled stated that they censored their content on personal social media accounts due to a boss, co-worker or parent that followed them.
That's a lot of self-censorship for people who supposedly believe it shouldn't matter!
One of our parents commented, "As a CEO, what would you do if one of your employees was caught on tape (or wherever) acting disorderly, drunk, swearing...do you not take that, at least a bit, as a reflection of you and what you represent?"
Obviously if one of my staff tweeted that they were on their way into a job they hate or a boss they hate, that would be grounds for dismissal. However, if they chose to get drunk on a Saturday night and say ridiculous things and happened to be overheard by someone, although that would be poor judgement on their part, depending on the commentary, it would not necessarily be grounds for dismissal.
I agree that the incident doesn't look good on their employer because the company name was pulled into the conversation, but I have to wonder how many incredibly stupid things we all say on our downtime. I would hate to think that my ability to run my company or be employable could be directly impacted by what I choose to do on a Saturday night and choose to say within a group of friends.
It could be argued that with today's technology and social media obsessions, we should always consider ourselves to be on the clock because you never know who might be watching or listening. On the other hand, it's very easy to say that we have become a hypersensitive society, and your personal thoughts and opinions should be allowed to be just that.
The easiest solution would be: don't be idiots. Especially on live TV.
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