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Firing someone for off-the-job bad behaviour





Indi
Although this is a topic that's been brought up before, i'm bringing it up again for two reasons.

First, the previous topic focused on illegal off-the-job behaviour. (I used the Penn State child rape case as the framing example.) Non-illegal off-the-job behaviour was mentioned, but it kinda got swept by talk of convictions and such. In this topic, i want to focus on justification for firing for non-illegal behaviour. (There was also way too much focus on police and military. Those are hardly standard employment situations.)

Second, a lot has changed since then. When that topic was set up, public shaming via social media was still a fairly rare, mostly fringe event. Now it's gone mainstream. Mainstream media is now encouraging public shaming, and even gleefully taking part in it themselves.

We now have much more knowledge about, and experience with, the issues involved, than we had back when the original topic was made. I believe that enough has changed that we should really start fresh.

Most of the topics i create are prompted by recent news events, and this one is no exception:

There is apparently a "meme" going around where, if you see a television reporter - particularly a female reporter - out in public doing a report or interviews, someone breaks into the shot and shouts "****** her right in the pussy". It's supposed to be hilarious. Somehow.

Anywho, reporters were getting understandably frustrated with the "gag". Some female reporters were getting hit dozens of times a day. They did reports and editorials explaining why it was harassment, and asking people to stop preventing them from doing their jobs, but to no avail.

And then one reporter - Shauna Hunt - who was reporting at a soccer event in Toronto - and who had been hit by the "gag" at least a half dozen times already that day - finally had enough. While she was interviewing some guys (two innocent guys that had nothing to do with the "gag", who she was just interviewing normally as part of her job), she heard a group behind her conspiring to do it. She immediately turned the camera on them and demanded that they explain themselves. Shockingly, none of the guys were the least bit ashamed of what they were doing - in fact, they laughed right in her face, and into the camera, saying they would keep doing it. One man, when Hunt asked him what his mother would think, simply laughed her off, saying his mother would find it hilarious.

Well, Hunt went online with the video, and asked social media to find the guy's mother. But then things went viral. The man was identified - turned out he worked at a public utility company making a six-figure salary. The company found out what was going on, and promptly fired the man.

A few days later, another reporter in Calgary was doing a street interview, and someone yelled the phrase at her from a truck. She turned the camera on the truck, and caught the licence plate. The driver is now facing criminal charges. (For performing a stunt while driving that might lead to an accident.)


(There are also several news stories linked in the old topic.)

As usual, the topic is not about the details of those particular stories. They are only there to help frame the discussion in a real-world context.

Also, the topic is not about what is legal or not. That varies from place to place, and anyway this is not a legal forum, it is a philosophy forum.

Here are some of the questions relevant to the topic:
  • When and why can employers fire people for something they've done off-the-job?

  • When and why must employers fire people for something they've done off-the-job?

  • For what types of "bad" behaviour is it unnecessary to actually explicitly warn people they might get fired?
    (In other words, what stuff is so obviously fireable that it doesn't even need to be mentioned to an average, intelligent employee?)

  • What types of "bad" behaviour can someone be fired for, but only if they were warned in their employment contract?
    (In other words, what stuff is it okay for a company to say: "don't do this or you'll be fired"?)


Please don't just write a list of bullet answers to the questions above. Each one deserves proper thought and consideration on their own. Pick one, and think deeply about it.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
Well, Hunt went online with the video, and asked social media to find the guy's mother. But then things went viral. The man was identified - turned out he worked at a public utility company making a six-figure salary. The company found out what was going on, and promptly fired the man.
Depends what is in his contract. Could be that when one works for the Federal or Local Government in Ontario there is a clause about public conduct. Jobs in the Canadian Federal Government are mind boggling with fine print and public rules and laws - like the job is public property. When someone signs up for a Government job they just about sign away all of their rights. I guess their behaviour whether during working hours or after working hours would be equally relevant in terms of those rules and laws. Under normal circumstances it would be impossible to fire a federal employee in the Canadian Government, so I'd imagine there must have been a very clear rule to allow them to fire this worker - such as sexual harassment. Pretty serious offense in Government.

But OK, you've said this should not be about consequences and you want to know what we think about whether an employer should have the right to fire someone for out of work behaviour. I think it is wrong. It would be right for the reporter to file a complaint against the person who harassed her to be sorted out in a court of law, but for the employer to act as judge and jury when it really had nothing to do with the employer is wrong. Even when said worker is working for the Government. Private time should be private time. The act of sexual harassment however is wrong, unconstitutional and punishable by law. Whether in private or public time.
LxGoodies
Indi wrote:
what stuff is it okay for a company to say: "don't do this or you'll be fired"?

Anything. Stuff in your contract it's what you sign for. If my contract sais I cannot smoke cannabis while outside the work floor, I won't smoke.. or I won't sign the contract. Depends Very Happy

IMHO an employer cannot fire a person for anything that happens in your free time that is not mensioned in the contract. If your contract does not mension problems with the law as a ground for dismiss, these problems are not a proper ground. Let alone non-legal problems, like people flaming you for something, on Facebook or Twitter.

Recently we had an interesting case in the Netherlands: a diplomat with the ministry of foreign affairs was fired because of a tweet. In the tweet, the diplomat accused Israel and the US of setting up IS. Of course, for a diplomat this is a disgrace. However, in hindsight the judge did not agree with the employer and the diplomat got compensation for what happened.

However, an employer could fire the employee for staying away from work, as a result of legal problems (e.g. serving sentence in prison !)
Indi
deanhills wrote:
Jobs in the Canadian Federal Government are mind boggling with fine print and public rules and laws - like the job is public property. When someone signs up for a Government job they just about sign away all of their rights. I guess their behaviour whether during working hours or after working hours would be equally relevant in terms of those rules and laws. Under normal circumstances it would be impossible to fire a federal employee in the Canadian Government, so I'd imagine there must have been a very clear rule to allow them to fire this worker - such as sexual harassment. Pretty serious offense in Government.

Even if any of that were true (it isn't - in fact, it's pretty much all wrong), this is not a forum about the Canadian public service.

deanhills wrote:
But OK, you've said this should not be about consequences and you want to know what we think about whether an employer should have the right to fire someone for out of work behaviour. I think it is wrong. It would be right for the reporter to file a complaint against the person who harassed her to be sorted out in a court of law, but for the employer to act as judge and jury when it really had nothing to do with the employer is wrong. Even when said worker is working for the Government. Private time should be private time. The act of sexual harassment however is wrong, unconstitutional and punishable by law. Whether in private or public time.

Consider this, though. Imagine you're a woman working with that guy. You see him, on television and all over the Internet, proudly proclaiming his right to yell what is essentially a rape threat at any woman he feels like... and even threatening the reporter directly with a comment to the tune of "if only there were a vibrator here". I mean, that was straight up sexual harassment with a rape threat as cherry on top... and he thought it was hilarious, and was proud to boast that he'd do it any time.

And then on Monday, you have to work with the guy again.

Is that fair?

I would say being uncomfortable around the guy after seeing that is a pretty freaking normal reaction. I mean, if you're a woman working with him, now you're going to be terrified of doing anything to piss him off - like, for example, reporting him for not doing his job properly... or even for sexual harassment - because it's pretty clear this guy has no qualms about barking off rape threats... for fun... so imagine what he'd do if he were really angry. I mean, the guy basically says, right to the woman reporter's face, that she might appreciate the joke if there were a vibrator around. To any woman working with him, the guy is now obviously a screaming red flag.

So as the person in charge, do you really think it's fair... to the woman... to force her to continue working with the guy, who she is now afraid of and feels she has to be careful around, just to protect his constitutional right to be an ******?

Something about that stinks to me.

It seems to me you've got a situation like this: You now have a toxic work environment - you have a situation where you have (at least) two employees that can no longer work effectively together, because one (or many, because you probably have more than one woman in your employee roster) has a reasonable fear that the other might potentially harm her if they have a dispute. You have 3 options:
  1. Ignore the problem; tell the woman (or women) to suck it up and just try to forget what a dangerous person the guy might be... all because it just so happened that he didn't show his dangerous attitude while on the job.
  2. Remove the woman (or women), either by firing or shuffling to another department or something, again because while the guy did do something that made them nervous about working with him, he didn't do it on the clock, so it's not your problem; it's the women's concerns that are causing the problem for you.
  3. Remove the man, because even though he didn't create the problem while on the job, he did create it.
You can probably guess what option i'd recommend.

Let me try another thought experiment to further demonstrate the point. Suppose you had an employee who was writing very graphic rape fantasies and collecting things like shackles, gags, and drugs like chloroform - and many of those rape fantasies were stories about catching the woman alone at work after hours, or on their way to their cars, and so on. Now, technically, none of that is illegal... but i think you can understand how it might be unnerving for any of the women who were working with that guy. If you truly believe that "private time should be private time", then what you are saying is that if it was discovered that he was writing these stories or ordering those supplies at work, he could be fired... but if he did not do any writing or purchasing at work, and his "hobby" was only revealed to the rest of the employees by some freak happenstance... then those women would just have to suck it up and continue working with him (or quit of their own accord, of course).

Does that sound right?

LxGoodies wrote:
Indi wrote:
what stuff is it okay for a company to say: "don't do this or you'll be fired"?

Anything. Stuff in your contract it's what you sign for. If my contract sais I cannot smoke cannabis while outside the work floor, I won't smoke.. or I won't sign the contract. Depends Very Happy

I don't think you've really thought that through. So, you're saying that if an employer wanted you to sign a contract that required you to change religion, get castrated, and cut ties with your friends and family... that would be okay? No problem with that at all? If you don't like it, don't sign? That's all?

No, sorry, that is freaking ridiculous.

Clearly there have to be limits on what can be stipulated in an employment contract. Many people simply don't have the option of refusing jobs - they have families to feed, and jobs are scarce. You cannot allow arbitrary bullshit in employment contracts.

LxGoodies wrote:
IMHO an employer cannot fire a person for anything that happens in your free time that is not mensioned in the contract. If your contract does not mension problems with the law as a ground for dismiss, these problems are not a proper ground.

Riiiiiiiiight. So, if you hire someone and forget to put "don't rape" in the contract and then, during the weekend, they go and rape a couple of the other employees (who are also off the clock)... you can't fire that person when they get back to work? The employees who were attacked just have to accept that their rapist will continue working with them, because he didn't rape them while on the job?

You really haven't thought this through, have you?
LxGoodies
Indi wrote:
LxGoodies wrote:
Indi wrote:
what stuff is it okay for a company to say: "don't do this or you'll be fired"?

Anything. Stuff in your contract it's what you sign for. If my contract sais I cannot smoke cannabis while outside the work floor, I won't smoke.. or I won't sign the contract. Depends Very Happy

I don't think you've really thought that through.

What makes you think that, Indi ? I'm quite familiar with contracts. Things I do outside the work floor are (or should be) irrelevant for contracts, we agree upon that. But a contract is the ONLY opportunity for an employer to make demands in that direction. He cannot fabricate additional demands after a contract has been signed, nor can he expect anyone to sign a contract containing silly demands.

Indi wrote:
So, you're saying that if an employer wanted you to sign a contract that required you to change religion, get castrated, and cut ties with your friends and family... that would be okay? No problem with that at all? If you don't like it, don't sign? That's all?

No, sorry, that is freaking ridiculous.

No, I am not saying that. Please stop submitting ad lapidem examples please... I gave you a relevant and recent example above.

http://www.nu.nl/economie/4049663/shell-betrapt-tientallen-medewerkers-drugs.html

If Shell has imposed any conditions regarding drug use outdoors, Shell is entitled to fire people. If there are no conditions in the contract regarding drug use outside company limits.. they've no legal ground at all !

Quote:
Clearly there have to be limits on what can be stipulated in an employment contract.

There are. In the Netherlands we have CAO and minimal wages. That means an employer vs. union negotiation will result in certain limits on contracts that can be offered. I think that is a good thing, but it is regarded the responsability of the negotiating partners, not of a law-making state.

There are only a few - explicit - exceptions on the latter. If the contract terms are discriminative toward you or others (e.g. religion, sexual orientation), when they would put you or others in danger, or when a demand would cause you to break the law, you can sue the employer legally. Whether you've signed or not, the contract would be invalid.

Another example for which the law would get involved.. at least here.. suppose, a company was acquired by another company.. people were fired and offered a new contract. All existing contracts were rewritten, with the sole purpose of getting rid of people.. the new contracts include silly demands.. would the new employer be entitled to disband the old contract in the first place ? Here, the union would sue, to prevent the firing of employees.. immediately. To prevent this kind of blackmail from happening.

Quote:
Many people simply don't have the option of refusing jobs - they have families to feed, and jobs are scarce. You cannot allow arbitrary bullshit in employment contracts.

Very inconvenient position indeed, that's why CAO was invented here. But for me, the bottom line remains.. read your contract. You cannot ignore a contract, it is important.

Quote:
LxGoodies wrote:
IMHO an employer cannot fire a person for anything that happens in your free time that is not mensioned in the contract. If your contract does not mension problems with the law as a ground for dismiss, these problems are not a proper ground.

Riiiiiiiiight. So, if you hire someone and forget to put "don't rape" in the contract and then, during the weekend, they go and rape a couple of the other employees (who are also off the clock)... you can't fire that person when they get back to work? The employees who were attacked just have to accept that their rapist will continue working with them, because he didn't rape them while on the job?

Indeed, alas. Only when you stay away from work for weeks (very probable ! you will spend time in jail) your employer can fire you for not coming to work.

Now.. if employer would state in a contract that the employee will be fired at the moment he/she gets arrested for something.. AND the raper signed it.. that's another ball game. Then, he can fire the raper on monday !

Counter example: suppose a teacher would be accused of child abuse, on Facebook. Without proof, but parents start to complain about it. Has the school a right fire the teacher ?

Quote:
You really haven't thought this through, have you?

What makes you think that, Indi ? I'm quite familiar with contracts..
Indi
LxGoodies wrote:
Indi wrote:
I don't think you've really thought that through.

What makes you think that, Indi ?

That is explained in the rest of the paragraph that you cut off.

LxGoodies wrote:
Indi wrote:
So, you're saying that if an employer wanted you to sign a contract that required you to change religion, get castrated, and cut ties with your friends and family... that would be okay? No problem with that at all? If you don't like it, don't sign? That's all?

No, sorry, that is freaking ridiculous.

No, I am not saying that.

No, you are saying that, and what i am doing is not ad lapidem. (Not even close... do you even know what that means?) These examples are based on real-world problems - employers can and have tried to force their religious beliefs on their employees (in fact, that's happening right now in the US). Employers can and have tried to cut employees off from their families. Employers can and have forced things like birth control and sterilization on their employees.

So answer the question. If an employer demanded that employees sign a contract that forces those kinds of things - things that are utterly irrelevant to the actual job - you're saying there is absolutely no problem with that? Employers are allowed to demand anything they want from employees, and you either have to give in or go without a job?

LxGoodies wrote:
Very inconvenient position indeed, that's why CAO was invented here.

To repeat what's in the opening post: This is not a legal forum. I have zero interest in what the law in the Netherlands is, and i doubt anyone else cares either.

This is a discussion of what is right, not what is legal. This is a philosophy discussion.

LxGoodies wrote:
Indi wrote:
So, if you hire someone and forget to put "don't rape" in the contract and then, during the weekend, they go and rape a couple of the other employees (who are also off the clock)... you can't fire that person when they get back to work? The employees who were attacked just have to accept that their rapist will continue working with them, because he didn't rape them while on the job?

Indeed, alas.

So you're seriously saying that you think it's right that a woman should be forced to share an office with her rapist, and if she doesn't like it she should give up her job?

And to be clear, this is through absolutely no fault of her own. If the employer has neglected to include a "don't rape off the clock" clause in the employment contract, then that's just too bad for the woman?

You think this is right?

LxGoodies wrote:
Indi wrote:
You really haven't thought this through, have you?

What makes you think that, Indi ? I'm quite familiar with contracts..

What makes me think that is that you've just said that, "alas", a rape victim "indeed" has to either put up with working with her rapist or quit. You just said that unless there was a "don't rape" clause or the guy actually gets convicted (which could take years, if it ever happens) and sent to prison... you think there's nothing wrong with forcing a rape victim to either lose her livelihood or put up with working with her rapist.

So either you haven't really thought it through, or you did think it through and you're fine with the above... which is sick. I mean, people call me an ******, but i would never force someone to work with a person who raped them, geez.

On top of that, i have a hard time believing you've given any serious thought as to how unlimited and unrestricted employment contracts can be abused - for example, you thought you were being clever when you pointed out that in your country, you can't force new contracts with silly demands on employees just because the company changed hands... sounds good, except for two small problems: 1) most workers, and usually the most vulnerable workers, don't have unions to protect them, and 2) even if they do, all you'd need to do is have the original contract formulated with a "the employer reserves the right to change this contract at any time", and there's nothing anyone can do. What's to stop all companies from putting a clause like that in all contracts? Why would any company not put that clause in? It's not like there's not a lot of people who need work out there. I seriously doubt there are many jobs where applicants are so scarce that a company couldn't get away with putting that in the employment contract. (For a comparison, see if you can find an Internet service contract that doesn't include that clause. Bet you can't. So what are you going to do? Just not have an Internet connection? Not bloody likely.)

I don't really care how much you think you know about contracts; first of all contract law varies from place to place, and secondly, this is not a legal forum. This is a philosophy forum. Is the above right or not?
LxGoodies
@Indi

You ask questions in the OP, some have strong political and legal angles..

This is about jobs and employer's rights.. what else to expect ? you asked us to focus on ONE of the questions and elaborate. I did, to the best of my knowledge. As for your example in the OP, the guy who harassed that female reporter would be fired, because he sexually harassed a reporter in a public television broadcast, in front of the public. It was disgracefull behavior ; the company did not want to get associated with and therefore the guy was fired. In his contract, there would e.g. have been some statement about public behaviour and appearance, contacts with the press etc, to justify the dismissal.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
So, if you hire someone and forget to put "don't rape" in the contract and then, during the weekend, they go and rape a couple of the other employees (who are also off the clock)... you can't fire that person when they get back to work? The employees who were attacked just have to accept that their rapist will continue working with them, because he didn't rape them while on the job?

Indeed, alas.

So you're seriously saying that you think it's right that a woman should be forced to share an office with her rapist, and if she doesn't like it she should give up her job?

I do not believe any employer would include a demand in a job contract regarding harassment of women outside the job (in general, that is: paragraphs about "sexual behaviour").

Breaking the law can be stated, though.. rape is breaking the law.

So: it depends. As long as a raper is not convicted or put to prison, the employer has no grounds to fire him. You may have ethical objections to the cruel fact female employees get confronted with a "rape suspect".. but as long as someone is a suspect and not offender he must be regarded as fully compliant with the job contract, as long as the man does his work.

OP, Indy wrote:
When and why can employers fire people for something they've done off-the-job?


My reply remains very simple: employers can fire employees, whenever they do something that is forbidden in the contract, of when employees refuse to comply to something that is demanded by the contract. This contract thing, Indi.. I focus on it because you insisted I focus on something.. is plain and practical daily life. You choose to ignore plain and practical daily life ?

Kind regards,

Lx
Indi
LxGoodies wrote:
You ask questions in the OP, some have strong political and legal angles..

They also have strong philosophical angles.

And 1) this is a philosophy forum, not a political or legal forum; and 2) i explicitly said in the intro post that i didn't want legal or political discussion, i wanted philosophical discussion.

LxGoodies wrote:
This is about jobs and employer's rights.. what else to expect ?

In a philosophy forum? I expect philosophy.

LxGoodies wrote:
you asked us to focus on ONE of the questions and elaborate. I did, to the best of my knowledge.

Except you didn't discuss it philosophically - you talked about legal topics... even after i asked you to stop.

And you still refuse to answer any of the philosophical questions i've asked you about what you've already said. Instead you're trying to justify trying to force a legal/political conversation... in a philosophy forum.

If you are incapable of discussing the philosophy questions associated with the topic, then go ahead and excuse yourself from the discussion. Feel free to bring the same topic up again in the politics forum if you want to.

LxGoodies wrote:
As for your example in the OP, the guy who harassed that female reporter would be fired, because he sexually harassed a reporter in a public television broadcast, in front of the public. It was disgracefull behavior ; the company did not want to get associated with and therefore the guy was fired. In his contract, there would e.g. have been some statement about public behaviour and appearance, contacts with the press etc, to justify the dismissal.

This is not discussion, and it is certainly not philosophical discussion. This is just a string of assumptions and assertions. Most of the assertions are never explained (despite me repeatedly asking you to), and most of the assumptions are plain wrong.

For the record - though it's not really relevant here - the guy did NOT have any clause in his contract about "public behaviour and appearance" or "contacts with the press". He also did NOT have any clause about sexual harassment (or any paragraphs about "sexual behaviour") - on or off the job. What actually happened is that in Canada, employers are allowed to fire employees for any reason they can argue as "just cause". In this case, video evidence of sexual harassment - including shameless defence of that behaviour - is plenty of just cause.

But that's not really relevant here - the details of that story are only for framing the philosophical discussion. You, however, have been continuously refusing any philosophical discussion. Nevertheless, I'll try yet again:

If an employer DOESN'T include a "don't harass on the job" or "don't rape on the job" clause in their contract, and the employee harasses or rapes a coworker on the job, is it RIGHT that the employer can't fire the employee? Is it just? Is it ethical? Does it make sense?

And even if the employer does include those clauses, but doesn't include "off the job" versions of those clauses, does that mean employees can harass and rape their coworkers on weekends, and still come back to their jobs on weekdays? Is that reasonable?

LxGoodies wrote:
As long as a raper is not convicted or put to prison, the employer has no grounds to fire him.

Are ****** serious? He raped a coworker! He raped... a coworker! He >>>RAPED<<< a coworker! How is that possibly not "grounds" to fire him in any sane world? What the hell would he have to do for it to be grounds for firing? Murder the entire office staff and put their heads on display in the showroom? (Bet there'd be nothing in his contract about that either.)

LxGoodies wrote:
You may have ethical objections to the cruel fact female employees get confronted with a "rape suspect".. but as long as someone is a suspect and not offender he must be regarded as fully compliant with the job contract, as long as the man does his work.

Okay, you are making up loopholes to try and wriggle out of giving a straight answer to the situation.

First of all, i did not say he was a "rape suspect". I said he raped a coworker. There is no "suspect" in there. It is a fact.

Second, you are trying to use the excuse of prison as a reason for firing - arguing that he could be fired if sent to prison, because that means he can no longer come in to work. There are two problems with that excuse. First, some people can still do their work from prison. Second, if not being able to come in to work for a while is all it takes to justify firing, what about an employee who got badly hurt and ended up in the hospital for a few months?

If it's really necessary for me to make the scenario so ironclad you just can't wriggle out of it, i can do that:

A man is working for a company under contract that has NO clauses for illegal conduct or bad behaviour while off the job (just like most contracts). A female coworker takes a vacation to a foreign country. He stalks her there, then attacks her, and rapes her, filming the whole thing and posting it online. When he comes back to his home country, the law can't touch him - what happened was outside of their jurisdiction. So there is no chance he will ever be charged or convicted for rape. And there is no question he did it - he posted the videos and brags about it.

So what should happen in this situation?
  • Should the man be punished (with firing), even though, while he did something horrific, there is nothing in his contract that would cover the offence?
  • Or should the victim be punished (by either having to continue working with her rapist or quit), even though she did absolutely nothing wrong herself?
You can choose to tackle it from an ethical angle, and ask what the ethical choice should be. Or you can choose to tackle it from a general philosophical angle, and just ask what makes sense - ask how the concept of employment should be defined.

What you can't do is give me another rundown of what you think employment law is like in the Netherlands. (Or Canada, or anywhere else for that matter.)

LxGoodies wrote:
You choose to ignore plain and practical daily life ?

You choose to ignore the actual topic of the thread? The topic of the thread is not "plain and practical daily life", whatever you think that means. The topic of the thread is the philosophy of employment and firing.
LxGoodies
Has this forum become slower .. it took minutes to reach this topic Rolling Eyes

Would I, as an employer , accept this person to come back and work in close cooperation with other persons who even may have witnessed the crime !? Nooooo he raped a collegue and appearently, everyone knows.. in that case nooooo I would have to suspend that person indefinitely, at least until a trial occurs.Now suppose the man gets out of prison after 3 months. As an employer, I would deny him entrance in this case. Certainly. Either through suspension, or dismissal. Depends what's feasible.

Anyway, let's (attempt to) quit talking about legal positions you so strongly object to. Suppose the employer can fire people at will. Or I can. I could kick the man out, np. My answer would be: yes I would.. in the case of someone raping a collegue I would.

What kind of example is also relevant. You talk about rape. There are other situations thinkable, where an employer could observe something as unethical, while the judge or a majority in society would not. Example: suppose, some christian radio station would insist on firing two male reporters, because they were seen together, kissing in a restaurant in Amsterdam, on vacation. Dismissal .. out of the blue. There is no written clause anywhere. Is that allowed too ? What "ethical standards" to apply, should'nt that be (at least) be made clear somehow, to the employee ? beforehand ?
Indi
LxGoodies wrote:
Suppose the employer can fire people at will. Or I can. I could kick the man out, np. My answer would be: yes I would.. in the case of someone raping a collegue I would.

That wasn't the question, and the answer just about anyone would give is predictably obvious. No one is going to say that if they had the freedom to choose with no restrictions or consequences that they would force someone to work with their rapist. I mean, duh.

The question is what should be the rule. What is the ethical obligation? What is the "should" in this situation: what should an employer do?

LxGoodies wrote:
What kind of example is also relevant. You talk about rape. There are other situations thinkable, where an employer could observe something as unethical, while the judge or a majority in society would not. Example: suppose, some christian radio station would insist on firing two male reporters, because they were seen together, kissing in a restaurant in Amsterdam, on vacation. Dismissal .. out of the blue. There is no written clause anywhere. Is that allowed too ?

What do you think? Answering that would actually be the point of the thread (rather than going on about what the law says in various places).

My position is this:

Obviously an employer shouldn't be allowed to just fire someone on a whim. (Yes, i'm aware that's how it works in the US, but the US system is terribly unethical.) Just as obviously they shouldn't be required to keep someone on the job when that person is incapable or unwilling to do the job.

So the question is how do you determine what reasons are just for firing, and what reasons are not. To me, there are only three cases when firing is just:
  • when the employee is unable to do the job
  • when the employee is unwilling to do the job; or
  • when the employee is preventing other employees from doing their job.
The first case is obvious: if someone can't do the job, the obviously don't deserve to have it.

The second case is also obvious: if someone is slacking off, they should be replaced with someone who will do the job.

The sticking point seems to be the third case.

But even then, if someone is deliberately preventing others from doing their job - such as by sabotaging colleagues, maybe in order to make themselves look better - then it's pretty obvious they have to go.

So the sticking point seems to be people who are preventing others from doing their job, but not deliberately.

But there are two different types of "not deliberately":
  • "I chose to do what I wanted, and this was an unintended side effect."; and
  • "I didn't choose to do what's causing the problem; I can't help it."

To understand the difference, imagine that there are two companies where one of the employees forces the entire business to stop work for a half-hour once or twice a month.
  • In company A, it's because the employee likes to "blow off steam" by screaming and throwing things around, forcing everyone else to get clear. Ze always apologizes afterwards and cleans up the mess ze made, because ze doesn't really want to disturb anyone else - ze just wants to vent zes frustration so they can continue doing zes job.
  • In company B, it's because the employee suffers from debilitating seizures, and when ze has one, paramedics have to arrive for treatment, and everyone else has to stand aside until it's over. Ze always apologizes, because ze doesn't really want to disturb anyone - ze can't help zes medical condition.
I think it's pretty obvious that those are two very different situations. Both are disrupting the workplace, and neither one of them wants to disrupt the workplace. But the person in company A is causing a disruption without justification. It doesn't matter that they're sorry about it. The bottom line is that they don't have a legitimate reason for causing the disruption.

The person at company B may even be causing a greater disturbance, but they have justification. They have a legitimate reason for causing the disruption.

(If an employee is causing a disruption for a legitimate reason, the employer has to consider the costs of the disruption. If the disruption can be reasonably tolerated, then the employer shouldn't let the employee go - that would be unjust. If the disruption is more than the company can bear, they should try to find some kind of equitable accommodation (like moving the employee to another job). If they can't tolerate the disruption, and can't come to an agreement with the employee about an alternative arrangement, then they have to let them go. (But this is not firing - the employee should still get their severance package and so on.))

So if an employee is unable or unwilling to do the job, or if they are disrupting the workplace and don't have legitimate justification for doing so... they can be fired.

Applied to specific examples:

  • If someone has raped another employee... you cannot seriously expect everyone else at the workplace to just shrug it off and work as usual - especially the rape victim. So the presence of the rapist is a disruption. It may not be a deliberate disruption on the rapist's part, but it's a disruption nonetheless, and they were the cause of it, and they don't have a legitimate excuse for it. Thus, they get fired.

  • If you have a case of alleged rape - a case where there's no proof - you have to make a judgement call. A disruption exists, but you're not sure who is the one causing it: the accused (by actually having raped), or the accuser (by making up false accusations). You have to figure out which one is the problem, and remove them somehow (which doesn't necessarily mean firing - transfer might be an option). You can't just ignore it; that's a non-solution. Either you've got a rapist in your midst (which puts others at your company at risk), or you've got someone who would lie about a rape. Whichever it is, they cannot stay.

    If you have very good reason to believe the accuser is lying, then remove them. However, in the real world, that's almost never the case. In the real world, the rate of false accusations is tiny. But even if that weren't true, you have to consider that if you remove the accuser, you're sending a message to the rest of your employees that you think speaking out about a rape is more problematic to the company than raping. That's an incredibly stupid and dangerous message to send.

    And if you're wrong, and you had chosen to fire the rapist, you don't face any legal issues. When they sue for wrongful dismissal, simply pass it along by suing the accuser for lying - the company was just as much victimized by the lie as the victim, after all (in fact, the company should probably work *with* the victim to sue the accuser). On the other hand, if you had chosen to fire the accuser and it turns out you were wrong... you are going to get your ass sued blue, and end up facing a storm of controversy and bad press.

  • If an employee of an Christian company is gay, that should not reasonably cause a disruption at work. If there is a disruption, it is caused by whoever brought the issue into the workplace... which is usually not the gay person. And of course, there is no justifiable reason for bringing the issue into the workplace. Thus if anyone should be fired, it is the homophobe.

  • In the case of FHRITP guy, he certainly didn't intend to cause a disruption in the workplace. Nevertheless, his public behaviour did come back to the workplace - how could it not? he didn't exactly try to hide it - and it did upset and demoralize the women working there, who just discovered their colleague thinks that just because they have vaginas that makes them toys he can have sport with for his own amusement. And of course, he has no justifiable reason for what he did. Thus, he should be fired.

    It's a tough break for the guy, sure, but the bottom line is that he wasn't just an idiot, he was an offensive idiot. With freedom comes responsibility - that's too often forgotten. He shirked his responsibility to not act like a ****** moron, and used his freedom to make light of harassing women for sport. He made the workplace uncomfortable for his female coworkers, for no justifiable reason. The price he paid is perfectly just.
JoryRF
I think a really reasonable line t draw in the sand would be whether your actions harmed, or implied harm to, other people and/or animals. If you caused or implied harm, unprovoked, then of course it's reasonable to let you go. But, if you harmed no one, and you didn't intentionally imply that you meant to hurt others, then I can't really see how off-the-job behavior is really any business of your employer.

This would of course leave gay marriage safe because you hurt no one (objectively) by being gay.
Subjective claims of harm would be unable to show someone had objectively been harmed, or was intended harm.

A rapist would obviously have harmed someone, violating their right to sovereignty of their own body.

The man spouting pro-rape rhetoric would be implying harm, and so should be fired.

The man who dresses in drag and gets caught by his supervisor at a bar...well...no one got harmed. The supervisor may say the man is harming societal fabric, but wearing a dress does not determine the direction of the economy, or a war. HEEEEEEE'S SAAAAAFFFE.

What the hell is so hard about determining what someone can or cannot be fired at work over?
LxGoodies
Indi wrote:
The question is what should be the rule. What is the ethical obligation? What is the "should" in this situation: what should an employer do?

LxGoodies wrote:

What kind of example is also relevant. You talk about rape. There are other situations thinkable, where an employer could observe something as unethical, while the judge or a majority in society would not. Example: suppose, some christian radio station would insist on firing two male reporters, because they were seen together, kissing in a restaurant in Amsterdam, on vacation. Dismissal .. out of the blue. There is no written clause anywhere. Is that allowed too ?


What do you think? Answering that would actually be the point of the thread (rather than going on about what the law says in various places).

Wow you doubt that ?Smile I've been on this forum since 2011. On several occasions I've mensioned that I am homosexual myself and honest about that fact to everyone, since I was 16 years old.. and I've not had problems with that whatsoever. On the contrary, it's quite enjoyable. And of course, I agree it is unacceptable to fire a person for his or her sexual preference. Where I live, this is not only an ethical stand, it is not allowed.

Quote:
duh

I've just put this case about the two homosexual EO-reporters as a counter example to your rapist example. You seemed to suggest an employer could base a dismissal-decision on definable ethical judgements. He won't. An employer need not agree with you or me about any ethical judgements. That's why there are laws about these things, also to prevent employees doing that.

You seem to quest for a definite moral for firing people, based on certain rules and concepts, like behaviour toward collegues and intent (deliberate or not). You seek a definite answer or conclusion for cases like,

Quote:
* In company A, it's because the employee likes to "blow off steam" by screaming and throwing things around, forcing everyone else to get clear. Ze always apologizes afterwards and cleans up the mess ze made, because ze doesn't really want to disturb anyone else - ze just wants to vent zes frustration so they can continue doing zes job.
* In company B, it's because the employee suffers from debilitating seizures, and when ze has one, paramedics have to arrive for treatment, and everyone else has to stand aside until it's over. Ze always apologizes, because ze doesn't really want to disturb anyone - ze can't help zes medical condition.

I think it's pretty obvious that those are two very different situations. Both are disrupting the workplace, and neither one of them wants to disrupt the workplace. But the person in company A is causing a disruption without justification. It doesn't matter that they're sorry about it. The bottom line is that they don't have a legitimate reason for causing the disruption.

The person at company B may even be causing a greater disturbance, but they have justification. They have a legitimate reason for causing the disruption.


The second case is obvious. No ground. Maybe measures can be taken to give the person his/her own room, maybe medication will one day be found that eliminates the problem alltogether. In the case of company A, suppose I'm the employer, I'd like to know what triggers the problem, before making a simple judgement, e.g. assuming a person misuses the workplace to blow off steam arbitrarily, intending harm toward collegues.. I'd like to investigate and find out the cause first. Maybe something is wrong in the company culture toward this person, I'm not aware of. For me, it would justify investigation, not immediate suspension, let alone dismissal.

In short.. I'm not always able to define things as clearly as you do, Indi.. I have my ideas about your cases, but I would not dare to take a stance on everything, in every case. Sometimes these choices can become quite complicated, even if it is intentional and involves collegues and their well-being.

Example:

A supermarket manager wants to get rid of Moroccan male personnel and stop taking on Morrocan male personnel, because some of them insult non-muslim girls. Can that manager do that, without investigating each case ? More specifically, suppose he did investigate and did select certain Moroccan employees for dismissal, would he have a moral right to fire them ? Is it allowed to fire a person for any offensive behaviour toward a collegue, whatever the complaint is ?

My two cents: no I think dismissal grounds should not include insult of collegues. He can't fire Moroccan people at will, based on (just) this complaint. And certainly not all of them. Also, in the supermarket world, labour force is scarce. So the employer may not want to fire anyway. He can (and should !) put pressure on the Moroccan person to change behaviour: often, these things can be talked over, to resolve the situation and clear the sky.
Indi
JoryRF wrote:
But, if you harmed no one, and you didn't intentionally imply that you meant to hurt others, then I can't really see how off-the-job behavior is really any business of your employer.

I don't think "intention" is a good enough standard. Far too much harm is caused "unintentionally". A person telling racist jokes at work, for example, probably doesn't intend to hurt racial minorities; they probably think they're being genuinely funny and mocking the stereotypes, not the people themselves.

LxGoodies wrote:
Wow you doubt that ?

"Doubt"? What do you think i doubt?

LxGoodies wrote:
You seemed to suggest an employer could base a dismissal-decision on definable ethical judgements.

I did not "seem to suggest" any such thing. This is a philosophy forum. Philosophy is the search for wisdom. Knowing when it is appropriate to fire someone is wisdom.

What the laws say is irrelevant, because they vary from place to place, and some are good and some are bad. The goal here is to find the rules that could be used to write a good set universal laws. (But of course, not all the rules we determine would necessary work well as legal laws.)

LxGoodies wrote:
You seem to quest for a definite moral for firing people, based on certain rules and concepts, like behaviour toward collegues and intent (deliberate or not).

Yes. I'm doing philosophy.

LxGoodies wrote:
In the case of company A, suppose I'm the employer, I'd like to know what triggers the problem, before making a simple judgement, e.g. assuming a person misuses the workplace to blow off steam arbitrarily, intending harm toward collegues.. I'd like to investigate and find out the cause first. Maybe something is wrong in the company culture toward this person, I'm not aware of. For me, it would justify investigation, not immediate suspension, let alone dismissal.

I've already told you what the problem is. The investigation is done. I didn't feel the need to spell out that an investigation had to be done, and was done, because that seemed blatantly obvious from the scenario. How else would you, the employer, know the reasons for why these two employees are acting out? Obviously because you did an investigation.

But now the investigation is done. You have the facts. Now it's time to make a decision. You can't postpone that forever.

LxGoodies wrote:
I have my ideas about your cases, but I would not dare to take a stance on everything, in every case.

Nobody is asking you to "take a stance on everything, in every case". I gave you two cases. I gave you all the details in those two cases. (Unless you think there are details missing? If so what other information do you think you need?) I put you in the role of the decision maker in those two cases... just those two cases, not every case there ever was or ever will be. It's time to make a decision. If you can't, or won't, explain why.

LxGoodies wrote:
A supermarket manager wants to get rid of Moroccan male personnel and stop taking on Morrocan male personnel, because some of them insult non-muslim girls. Can that manager do that, without investigating each case ?

No.

Because nothing about "being Moroccan" translates directly to "insulting non-Muslim girls". That is an irrational leap. If the manager believes that, the manager is irrational. If the manager is irrational, who knows what they'll do - they could fire everyone and hire fruit baskets to replace them - so we have to assume the manager is rational. If the manager is rational, then they will see there is no rational connection between "being Moroccan" and "insulting non-Muslim girls". Firing someone for insulting non-Muslim girls is fine... but "being Moroccan" does not equal "insulting non-Muslim girls", so while you can fire someone for the latter, there is no rational connection to the former.

LxGoodies wrote:
More specifically, suppose he did investigate and did select certain Moroccan employees for dismissal, would he have a moral right to fire them ?

Your example is so ridiculous, and so poorly explained, i can't figure out what you're asking here. What did he "investigate"? Did he investigate whether they were insulting non-Muslim girls? Or did he investigate whether they were Moroccan? Why did he select "certain Moroccan employees" for dismissal? Merely for being Moroccan? If so, why he he only pick certain ones? I can't even figure out what you're trying to set up with this example.

LxGoodies wrote:
Is it allowed to fire a person for any offensive behaviour toward a collegue, whatever the complaint is ?

Of course not. That's absolutely ridiculous. If someone came into the boss's office and said, "Dave left the coffee pot empty again!", of course the boss couldn't fire Dave for that.

By the same token, if two employees have it out and one calls the other an ******, that is not reason enough to fire the person.

And even if it wasn't a mutual fight - even if it was just a case of someone was having a bad day and they snapped at someone else, that is obviously not reason enough to start writing walking papers.

I mean, seriously, come on. Use a bit of reason. If it's just one or two isolated incidents, none of which are serious, and none of which have any major lasting effect in the workplace, then firing someone for them would just be ridiculous.

But if the incident is serious enough, or if it does enough damage - that is pervasive and lasting - then yes, even a single incident can be enough to justify firing.

The FHRITP guy didn't just say something rude. He stood up to a reporter who he was in the process of planning to sexually harass... and justified his harassment. And not just with a single comment either! He went on about how it was soooo hilarious to treat a woman trying to do her job as a prop for his own entertainment.

He didn't just say something rude. He demonstrated an attitude of contempt and disdain for the woman who was just trying to do her job. That's not something that other women trying to do their jobs can just... shrug off. He can come in and he can blubber and apologize for days, but you can't seriously believe him. That wasn't just a "slip". That was a revelation of how he really feels women can be treated. That's not something women he works with can just... forget.

It would be the same kind of thing as if he were caught on video waving a Confederate flag and joking about how hilarious it would be to "lynch a n-word". That's not something the black people he works with can just... forget. They have discovered that their colleague is a racist. That makes it damn near impossible to work comfortably with him. And it's not their fault. It's his - first for having that despicable attitude, second for being stupid enough to let it become an issue in the workplace.

The women that he works with can't just... forget... that FHRITP guy is a misogynist. They not only say him doing misogynist things, they say him proudly justifying it. It would be impossible to work comfortably with him anymore. And it's not their fault. It's his - first for having that despicable attitude, second for being stupid enough to let it become an issue in the workplace.

LxGoodies wrote:
My two cents: no I think dismissal grounds should not include insult of collegues.

What? Of course it should! If you go around insulting your colleagues, you effin well deserve to be fired.

But of course, because you seem incapable of reason or moderation, i have to spell this out: One or two isolated incidents of insulting a colleague - where the insult was relatively mild and didn't really have any lasting effects... no you shouldn't fire them for that. But a pattern of insulting colleagues? Yes, absolutely fire them. Or even a single case where they insulted a colleague, but the insult was horrifying? Yes, fire them.

LxGoodies wrote:
He can't fire Moroccan people at will, based on (just) this complaint.

Again, your example was so idiotic, and so poorly explained, i really can't make sense of what actually happened in it. If he fired people just for being Moroccan, then of course that's wrong. But if he fired them for actually insulting non-Muslim girls, then yes, he damn well can fire them based on just one complaint about that. I just can't figure out what you're implying he actually fired him for.

LxGoodies wrote:
Also, in the supermarket world, labour force is scarce. So the employer may not want to fire anyway.

The scarcity of replacements should not be a factor in deciding whether someone justly deserves to be fired or not.

If the employer is keeping on a bigot just because it would be too much work to find a replacement, that employer is a terrible employer.

LxGoodies wrote:
He can (and should !) put pressure on the Moroccan person to change behaviour: often, these things can be talked over, to resolve the situation and clear the sky.

You know what really bothers me about when people make suggestions like that? Here's a hint: what's missing? What have you failed to consider, in coming to this conclusion that seems oh-so-reasonable?

Figured it out yet? Keep trying. You want to find a reasonable solution that makes everyone happy, right? That's why you came up with the solution above, right? Guy doesn't lose his job, despite the stupid/hateful things he did. Boss doesn't have to be a villain and fire anyone, doesn't have to go through all the hassle of finding a replacement, and even manages to "save" an employee by making him a little less of an ****** (assuming it works). All sounds good!

So... what have you forgotten?

Give up?

I'll tell you.

Highlight to read: >>>>> You forgot about the victims. <<<<<

That's what always seems to happen in these cases where people get oh-so-concerned about what happens to people like the misogynist FHRITP guy - or this Moroccan bigot - and worry so much about them losing their jobs just for being a little bit stupid.

They always forget about the victims.

You didn't even mention the victims. Not even once. As if they don't matter at all. I mean, you didn't even mention whether there was just one girl he insulted, whether she was an employee or a customer... nothing. You just didn't give a shit about her. Or them, if there was more than one - you didn't even deign to mention that.

Doesn't that bother you? Doesn't it bother you that the people the guy actually hurt don't seem to matter at all to you?

Try this thought experiment on for size. Forget about the Moroccan. Forget about the supermarket manager.

Think about the girl.

Put yourself in her shoes. You're just going about your day, you know, either casually shopping at the supermarket - or, possibly just doing your job and stocking the shelves or working the cash (because you never said whether the girls he was insulting were customers or coworkers, or both). You're just minding your own business, bothering no one...

... then suddenly, this guy starts harassing you, for no other reason than that you're not a Muslim. And you're a girl.

Try really hard to think about how that girl must feel.

She would probably feel scared - i mean, the guy just started insulting her, for no good reason. Is he crazy? Is he dangerous? What if this escalates? Might he hurt her? Chances are he's probably bigger and stronger than her - he's probably physically intimidating her (even if that's not his intention, that's kinda automatically what happens when you start insulting someone). She probably instinctively holding something in front of her protectively - whether it's an item from the store shelves, a price gun, or a shopping cart.

She would probably be looking around nervously, looking either for an excuse to escape, or for someone to come and step in and rescue her. And more likely than not, he's positioned himself so that she has no easy escape - that way she has to hear out his insults.

And she wouldn't just feel afraid. She would isolated. Singled out. Hurt. She's being attacked at her very identity. She's not being insulted for being dumb, or lazy, or rude... she's being insulted just for being who she is. She is being insulted for no other reason than that she isn't Muslim. And she's a woman. Like all women, she probably grew up in a world where being a women was second prize, at best. Certainly not as good as being a man. She probably heard her whole life that it's good when people "man up" and bad when people are "sissies"; that it's good to "stand up/take responsibility/fight like a man", and bad to "talk/cry/throw like a girl". But despite all that, here she was, taking part in society as an equal - shopping/working on equal footing with men, being equally respected... then along comes this ****** to violate your personal space, and blow all that to hell, and once again make you feel inferior just for being a woman.

Stop for a moment and imagine how that must feel. You describe the violation as if it's no big deal - barely even worth mentioning... it was more important that he was Moroccan than what he did to that girl. But that is not "nothing". That kind of naked misogyny, thrown in someone's face... that really ****** hurts. That really messes you up.

And, yet, in your entire formulation of the incident, and the resolution... not once did you give the slightest bit of consideration to how the victim feels.

Think about that.

And think about this. You're oh-so-reasonable solution to the issue of the Moroccan means that the woman who actually bore the brunt of that man's ignorance, bigotry, and callous violation of her personal space - having had absolutely no part in the discussion of how to "fix" the issue (because, of course, you didn't mention any part of the "talking over" involving her) - is forced to watch helplessly from the sidelines as the manager decides that it is more important to keep a known and demonstrated MISOGYNIST... who has verbally attacked people... on the payroll, than it is to protect the dignity of the woman he insulted.

No, sorry. I say ****** that noise. Your reasonable "resolution" is bullshit.

Any resolution to workplace conflict that doesn't consider the victims who were harmed - whether physically, psychologically, or emotionally - in the conflict is automatically an unjust resolution. Ignoring the victims and just worrying about the perpetrator is misguided at best, callous at worst.

The right thing for the supermarket manager to do is to say: "Hm, i have two employees... one of whom has clearly demonstrated that he doesn't respect the other employees... and one of whom has suffered an indignity, not to mention the fear she probably felt at that time, and probably still feels that it might happen again. One of those employees is damaging the cohesion of the workplace. Even if the other employee forgives him - which she is not the least bit obligated to do, and which I can't make her feel she is being forced to do - the fact of his intolerance and his inability to keep it in check remains. It would only be a further insult to her to force her to 'talk things over' with the person who hurt her, just to make my job easier. It is not my responsibility to rehabilitate the man's bigotry, and certainly not to do that at the expense of my other employees. And of course, if it happened once, I can't be certain that it can't possibly happen again. Overlooking that kind of open bigotry, and forcing the victim to either keep working with the person who insulted her or quit, would not be sending the message I want to send to my employees about what behaviour I will tolerate her, or about how I will protect my employees. Decision made. He has to go."
LxGoodies
Indi wrote:
LxGoodies wrote:
He can (and should !) put pressure on the Moroccan person to change behaviour: often, these things can be talked over, to resolve the situation and clear the sky.


You know what really bothers me about when people make suggestions like that? Here's a hint: what's missing? What have you failed to consider, in coming to this conclusion that seems oh-so-reasonable?

Figured it out yet? Keep trying. You want to find a reasonable solution that makes everyone happy, right?


Apparently, you've already made your decision as judge and jury, based on what.. you add things, like the victims getting afraid too.. you accumulate all kinds of engraving circumstances to my example.. and then you conclude. Bravo, it all adds up in your comfortable theoretical framework. Now let me assure you Indi I've been in the middle of this case, the suggestions and the conclusions are all yours.

Indi wrote:
And, yet, in your entire formulation of the incident, and the resolution... not once did you give the slightest bit of consideration to how the victim feels.


Dunno yet. Ok, let's tell something more about it, my example is a real life example. It happened (or happens). The victims.. suppose there are no victims yet, in this case. The employer (the person who has to decide) did not get any complaints. The issue about "the Moroccan harassing girls" was raised during a daily management breefing session, by a 45 years old male supervisor, who told the employer he watched it happen. Wouldn't some investigation be justified in this case ? Before firing an employee who does his work and adds value to the company ?

And of course, the report is taken seriously. The alledged ofender will have to come up to the boss' office next week.. and explain things. He'll sweat, don't worry.

The decision to fire a person is an end decision. There is a process involved. Not legal, but also social. Someone is excluded. It is not easy to fire a person and definitely no fun, it involves a lot of paperwork… If it can be avoided.. An employer can e.g. decide to wait until real complaints surface. Depends on the situation.. and the explanation, promises, excuse to the victim, or whatever someone is prepared to do, to keep his job.
Indi
LxGoodies wrote:
Apparently, you've already made your decision as judge and jury, based on what.. you add things, like the victims getting afraid too.. you accumulate all kinds of engraving circumstances to my example.. and then you conclude. Bravo, it all adds up in your comfortable theoretical framework. Now let me assure you Indi I've been in the middle of this case, the suggestions and the conclusions are all yours.

In other words, i keep pointing out things that you haven't thought about but i have, and it's pissing you off. So rather than just admit that you hadn't given proper thought to these things, you'd rather try to find sad excuses to blame me.

If you have the notion that i have already made up my mind about the topic, and that's why i'm so adamant about the things i've said in the last few posts, i have to point out that the real problem here is you, not me. You see, the topic is off-the-job bad behaviour, but you have brought up workplace harassment. Those are two very different things. I have made up my mind about workplace harassment - in fact just about every decent person in every civilized country has, so i'm rather shocked and disappointed that you haven't figured it out yet - but that's because workplace harassment is on-the-job bad behaviour. Yes, like most decent and ethical people i have made up my mind about on-the-job bad behaviour... but not off-the-job bad behaviour.

Here's a tip. If you want to accuse me of being a know-it-all about the topic because i'm refusing to have any discussion on my conclusions... then you might want to make sure that what you're discussing is actually the topic, and not something else.

LxGoodies wrote:
Ok, let's tell something more about it, my example is a real life example. It happened (or happens). The victims.. suppose there are no victims yet, in this case.

If this guy is harassing women for being non-Muslim, how can there be no victims? I mean, i know i said you were ignoring the victims before, but that's taking it to a whole new level.

LxGoodies wrote:
The employer (the person who has to decide) did not get any complaints.

"No complaints" is not the same thing as "no victims". An employer shouldn't wait for complaints.

All too often the most vulnerable employees will never complain, because they don't want to risk losing their jobs. For example, the vast majority of women who are sexually harassed are interns or other people low down on the corporate ladder - it is very rare that female executives or managers get harassed. And usually the person doing the harassing is someone much higher up in the organization, with a well-established network of friends in the upper echelon. That's why the harassment happens, and that's why it is only very rarely reported - a low-level intern usually doesn't dare report a popular and established person in a position of power... that would be career suicide. The headlines are full of examples of this.

That's why it important for managers to react BEFORE there is a complaint. By the time there is a complaint, it's already far too late - that means that not only did something bad happen, it happened and the manager didn't know about it (until the complaint). That's bad.

The moment an employer becomes aware of a problem - whether there have been any complaints or not - they must act. (And because you keep repeating the question over and over, let me say yet again: yes, of course, investigate... but once the evidence is in, act.)

LxGoodies wrote:
Wouldn't some investigation be justified in this case ?

How many times are you going to ask this question?

Of course the manager should investigate. I mean, duh. Nothing i have said implies no investigation should be done, and the reason i'm usually not bothering to mention it is because it so bleeding obvious that an investigation has be done before action is taken. But once the manager has enough evidence that they can reasonably believe it happened - which, by the way, is not the same standard of evidence in a court of law, which is "beyond reasonable doubt" - they should act. Not do more investigation. Act.

LxGoodies wrote:
Before firing an employee who does his work and adds value to the company ?

If the employee really is harassing women, they are not adding value to the company. They are a problem.

(Seriously, if there is harassment going on, the last thing that should be on your mind is company value. The first thing on your mind should be the victims of the harassment. The second thing on your mind should also be the victims of the harassment. There should be no third thing on your mind.)

LxGoodies wrote:
The decision to fire a person is an end decision.

The decision to harass another employee is the end decision. After that, the firing is just the inevitable and justified response. Harassment should not be tolerated.

And yes, yes, yes, to repeat it yet again, because i have a hunch you're going to bring it up again, of COURSE you investigate the claim of harassment before taking any action. Duh. But once the investigation is done, if you have reason to believe harassment probably happened, you must act.

And the standard of evidence is not the same standard of evidence used in a court of law. Even if there are no witnesses, and it's just one person's word against the other, if it's more likely that the harassment happened than that the "victim" made it up, then you conclude it happened. (And for the record, people making up claims of harassment is rare. It almost never happens.) On the other hand, if you are more convinced that the "victim" is lying, then you need to do something about that... but you better be damn sure the victim is lying before you accuse them of it, because if you're wrong there will be hell to pay. And filing a false claim of harassment is a very, very serious charge - not only should that person be fired, you should advise the person they were accusing that they can sue their accuser.

Seriously, do not ****** around with accusations of harassment. That's life-ruining shit. If you believe the harassment is real, you ****** the fire the harasser as fast as you can. If you believe the accusation was false, you ****** fire the accuser immediately. No other solution is acceptable. Because otherwise you either have an employee enduring harassment, or an employee under a cloud of accusation about being a harasser... either of which is very bad. So take action quickly.

LxGoodies wrote:
Someone is excluded.

Yes, someone who harassed people. Good riddance.

LxGoodies wrote:
It is not easy to fire a person and definitely no fun, it involves a lot of paperwork…

It is also not easy or fun to work in a place where there is someone who is harassing you.

See? You are still ignoring the victim. You only care about the harasser - you're worried about protecting them and their job and not even thinking about the victim(s). (And, bizarrely, you're worried about making less work for the manager? What? Dude, if you think firing someone who is harassing an employee means a lot of work, wait until you see the amount of work you'll have to deal with if the victim takes you before the employment board, or a court.)

LxGoodies wrote:
An employer can e.g. decide to wait until real complaints surface.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. No. Do NOT wait for complaints if you believe harassment is happening. ABSOLUTELY do not.

If an employer had good reason to believe an employee was being harassed but did nothing because they were "waiting for complaints", that employee can and should sue. (And that does happen. Just Google for cases of employers being sued for ignoring harassment. In fact, a friend pointed out that in the US, a case was actually put before the Supreme Court about this, and they ruled that if the employer knows or reasonably should know about the harassment, they must act, even if there have been no complaints. This is how the world works in 2015. Transparently hollow excuses for not acting are not being accepted anymore.)

If you want to be the boss of a group of employees, you do not have the luxury of just ignoring problems they have. I don't care how "not fun" it is... you friggin' do the paperwork. You step in and proactively make sure there are no serious problems, like harassment. And if you discover harassment, you do NOT sit on your ass waiting until it gets bad enough or a victim gets desperate enough to report it. You act. Because you have a responsibility as the boss to.

And if you don't or can't act, then the first person who should lose their job is you.

LxGoodies wrote:
Depends on the situation.. and the explanation, promises, excuse to the victim, or whatever someone is prepared to do, to keep his job.

No.

Once someone has harassed another employee, it's game over. That's the situation. If they wanted to keep their job, they shouldn't have harassed anyone. Employees are not children, they are adults who can and should be held responsible for their actions. Harassment is serious. Very serious. If someone does it, that's the end for them. Either you have zero tolerance for harassment, or you tolerate harassment - and if you tolerate harassment, you are a terrible employer, and a terrible human being. So zero tolerance. NOBODY is that important to a company that any harassment they do should be tolerated.

Being a boss is not easy or fun. It's a very serious responsibility. You do not have the luxury of making "easy" choices, or just brushing problems aside and hoping they go away.
LxGoodies
Indi wrote:
i have to point out that the real problem here is you

Sure. For Indi, I am Very Happy I don't give a damn.. you think I am a turkey anyway.. Razz

In fact mr. Eagle, any debate about a real-life case (such as this) with you is useless. You have made up your mind and you won't even listen.. you won't even seriously consider any alternative to the fixed mindframe you have already put for yourself, no matter how reasonable and balanced my submits are;. Your last resort against my moderate views is always the same weapon: you accuse me of going offtopic.

Also you seem to ignore inconvenient aspects I bring up..

For example.. you managed to cite every single sentence of my submit and come up with a tenfold volume in text.. but you "forgot" to comment on

LxGoodes wrote:
The issue about "the Moroccan harassing girls" was raised during a daily management breefing session, by a 45 years old male supervisor, who told the employer he watched it happen. Wouldn't some investigation be justified in this case ?

You're not only a bad judge, you are a lazy judge.

Indi wrote:
once the manager has enough evidence that they can reasonably believe it happened - which, by the way, is not the same standard of evidence in a court of law, which is "beyond reasonable doubt" - they should act.

Yep, that is all i have said.

Indi wrote:
Do NOT wait for complaints if you believe harassment is happening.
Indi wrote:
Being a boss is not easy or fun. It's a very serious responsibility

Yep.. that's what I meant.. but reading your condemnation beforehand of this poor chap, it is clear to me you never had to fire someone.. nor did you have any responsablity for a dismissal, or else you would not talk like this. To be blunt, I am glad I don't work for you. You are a believer. People who believe things can easily be manipulated, e.g. by a 45 year old islamophobe supervisor complaining about Morrocans, he hates anyway.
Indi
LxGoodies wrote:
Indi wrote:
i have to point out that the real problem here is you

Sure. For Indi, I am Very Happy I don't give a damn.. you think I am a turkey anyway.. Razz

No, i don't. And that's the problem. You have a preconceived notion of me and what i'm like in your head - one inspired by all the religious haters i have around here and their lies - and you're responding to me based on that fiction and not on reality. You seek out any imagined evidence that supports your preconceived notion of what i'm like, regardless of how much of a stretch it is. Case in point: you've taken the quote from my signature - which is actually something my father used to say all the time (because my mother called me and my siblings a gaggle of turkeys (because we always gobbled up everything)) - and spun it out to be something i actually literally believe, as if i actually look down on all the people around me, because it fits in with the biases you have against me.

You don't even bother to respond to the topic anymore, or to any of the things i say. No, it's just a rambling litany of what's wrong with me personally. Well, here's a taste of your own medicine.

LxGoodies wrote:
In fact mr. Eagle, any debate about a real-life case (such as this) with you is useless.

Okay, first of all, if you seriously believe debating with me is "useless", why do you keep doing it? That kinda makes you look like a bit of an idiot, doesn't it?

Second, as i tried to explain to you - but it just didn't seem to sink in - my mind is not made up about the topic. It is made up about what you were talking about... which was off-topic, and i even explained why it was off-topic. If we're having a discussion about X, and you bring up Y which is already a settled issue, what the hell else do you expect but to be told that there is nothing to discuss about Y?

Maybe if you could actually manage to stay on topic, you might actually be involved in a discussion about something i'm open-minded on.

LxGoodies wrote:
you won't even seriously consider any alternative to the fixed mindframe you have already put for yourself, no matter how reasonable and balanced my submits are;.

Your submissions are neither balanced nor reasonable, especially when they're nothing but a screed of rambling bullshit about all the things you think are wrong with my personality.

LxGoodies wrote:
Your last resort against my moderate views is always the same weapon: you accuse me of going offtopic.

If someone accuses you of going off-topic, there are two possibilities:
  1. That person is wrong, and you are not off-topic, but they just can't find any other way to answer your points.
  2. That person is right, and you are off-topic.
How do you tell them apart? Well, a reasonable person would ask why they have been called off-topic, so that they could get the explanation and find out if it holds up.

An ******, on the other hand, will just assume they're right without even caring about what anyone else thinks.

Care to guess which category you fall under?

In this case, i even went so far as to spare you the effort of even asking... i straight up told you exactly why you were off-topic. In detail. Further, i only told you that you were off-topic after you started carrying on like an ******. I let you take the discussion off-topic, without complaining, because why not? - there didn't seem any cause to be unreasonable about it until started acting out. Then, in an effort to try and get you to behave, i explained that you were off-topic, and exactly how you were off-topic.

LxGoodies wrote:
Also you seem to ignore inconvenient aspects I bring up..

For example.. you managed to cite every single sentence of my submit and come up with a tenfold volume in text.. but you "forgot" to comment on...

I didn't "ignore" "inconvenient" aspects, nor did I "forget" to comment on it. All that crap is irrelevant.

LxGoodies wrote:
You're not only a bad judge, you are a lazy judge.

I am not a judge at all, and i have no desire to be one. You insist on believing that i am, and that gives you justification to behave like a complete ****** ******. But i'm not.

LxGoodies wrote:
... it is clear to me you never had to fire someone.. nor did you have any responsablity for a dismissal, or else you would not talk like this.

Again, making assumptions about me based on your biases.

LxGoodies wrote:
To be blunt, I am glad I don't work for you.

To be blunt, the way you behave, you wouldn't have to worry about that.

LxGoodies wrote:
You are a believer. People who believe things can easily be manipulated...

Lolwhut? You seriously have no idea what i'm like.

──────────────────────────────────────────────────

You have some kind of personal vendetta on against me, based on some set of ignorant biases you have formed about what i'm like, and i have tolerated it thus far.

But now i'm getting ****** annoyed.

Because you have entered every single god damn thread i have made in the last year and ruined it. Every. Single. Goddamn. One.

Every time i have tried to start an intelligent, reasoned discussion here, you have jumped in, quickly taken over the thread, and then turned it into a personal attack on me. Every. Single. Goddamn. Time.

I have tried again and again to treat you with respect, and every single ****** time you have thrown a goddamn hissy fit and started to rage and rant about what a horrible person i am (always based on "facts" you have deduced about me that are invariably completely off the ****** map). My patience with you has expired.

I can't even bring myself to post anything new anymore, because i know you're just going to show up and start bitching about how "closed-minded" i am... simply because i find holes in your claims and have the ever-loving gall to point them out to you.

And the most insane thing is that it doesn't matter how many times, in how many threads, you "discover" what a horrible person i am... you always come back for more. And i, stupidly, keep holding out hope that this time it will be different - this time you will behave like a civilized person.

Well, no more. You have clearly decided that i'm some kind of fanatical jerk who can't be reasoned with, and that even trying to talk to me is "useless". Those are your own words - that is how you have literally described me. Very well, then. If that's what you really believe, then you should have no more cause to respond to me or any of my threads again. I mean, clearly you think there's no point. So if you do continue following me around the forums, looking for excuses to tell me what a horrible person i am, that would mean that you're just stalking me to harass me. And i am not going to tolerate any more of that.

So find someone else to harass.
LxGoodies
Hmmm, ok

Clear the sky on this: I am not submitting in these topics only because of you. Above, I've just described my own experience with a case of bad behaviour on and outside the work floor, that would cost a person his job. That can be a heavy decision, sometimes it is very difficult or impossible to decide in one way, without considering the rest..

We seem to disagree on some issues here, and elsewhere on these forum. Let me assure you Indi these disagreements are not the result of me hating you. I don't hate you, I can't. You are an avatar. And you don't know me either. I am not a christian, nor "inspired by christians to be against you". That's the strangest thing I've ever heard someone saying about me actually !

Bottom line is clear however, I irritate you.

So here's a promise: I won't post to any topic (or comment) you make in the future. Sad, because these topics are the most interesting here on this forum.

Confused
Indi
LxGoodies wrote:
Above, I've just described my own experience with a case of bad behaviour on and outside the work floor, that would cost a person his job. That can be a heavy decision, sometimes it is very difficult or impossible to decide in one way, without considering the rest..

I don't really care what your latest explanation is. The plain fact is that you seem incapable of having a discussion without twisting the conversation to hateful and ignorant rants about what you think my personality, life, or upbringing are. This particular time, it happened to be that you couldn't even discuss employment issues without starting into a rant about how i've never had the experience of firing anyone (which is not just specious bullshit, it's irrelevant specious bullshit). But this wasn't a one time thing... this happens in EVERY thread i try to participating it. No matter what the discussion is about, you have a theory about what's wrong with me or my personality.

That is not mere disagreement. Mere disagreement is telling me what's wrong with my claims, my points, my ideas, etc.. Once you start listing the problems you think are wrong with my personality, you've strayed way out of bounds. Even worse, you don't even bother to base your rants on what's actually being discussed or anything i've done - you have these absurd preconceptions that i'm some kind of frothing, angry, "believer" who lives with his head in the clouds and thinks he knows everything and is absolutely perfectly right about it... and that's not just my opinion, that's what you've actually... literally... said (albeit in your own words). That is not real discussion - not only is that an obvious ad hominem fallacy, it's even against the damn forum rules, and you've been called out for that more than once, but inevitably it happens again.

I got so sick and tired of hearing your theories about my personality, beliefs, background, and so on, that I've actually stopped posting on these forums. I wouldn't even be bothering now but for the fact that i have to, but frankly i've already started shopping around for alternate hosting options, and have just been too busy to do it too seriously.

LxGoodies wrote:
We seem to disagree on some issues here, and elsewhere on these forum. Let me assure you Indi these disagreements are not the result of me hating you. I don't hate you, I can't. You are an avatar. And you don't know me either. I am not a christian, nor "inspired by christians to be against you". That's the strangest thing I've ever heard someone saying about me actually !

You may not remember, but i do. I remember when you were new to these forums, and that was in the heat of the campaign being waged against me by a handful of religiously-motivated haters (who aren't really around anymore - i presume they've all finally found satisfaction in the Faith forum). You were parroting their bullshit even then, before you had any interaction with me. You've been repeating it ever since.

I don't care whether you're Christian or not (i already knew you weren't), i don't care whether you hate me or not... i don't ****** care about you at all. This is what you don't seem to understand. I do (often) tear into your claims, your arguments, and so on... but i have zero interest in speculating on you - on what your personality is like, on what your beliefs are (unless they're relevant and you bring them up), on what your background is... i don't... ******... care. Those are never the topic of conversation, and i will never bring them up, because doing so would be going off-topic. (Not to mention ignorant.)

What i care about is having every attempt to start a discussion turn into an ignorant and angry rant about what's wrong with me. EVERY attempt. Not one or two. EVERY attempt. I can take hate - i've certainly faced more than my share - but over and over and over and over and over, it gets wearying. Plus, you inspire brand new people to pick up the same torch you picked up, so i keep getting whole new generations of jackasses repeating the same bullshit year after year. I've stopped making threads, and i've even basically stopped posting, because i was so ****** tired of it.

Here's my bottom line: If you really believe i'm some kind of lunatic fanatic who cannot be reasoned with and who it is "useless" to even try to talk to... then stop ****** trying. Please, do. If you seriously believe it's "useless" to talk with me, then stop. Spare yourself the aggravation. Spare me, too.

And if you really don't believe that i'm a lunatic fanatic who can't possibly consider anyone's position but his own... then stop ****** saying so every time i point out that something you said is wrong. That is not civil conversation, that is simply you being an ******.
LxGoodies
That's flaming, which is not against the rules ?

Anyway gimme some links.. most of these forum wars you write about were before my time, or before I got involved in this section (via a video of Bikerman). I remember some of the afterglow 2013. But you are wrong. I opposed them too, sometimes I played the "apologete" but that happened only when your insults where directed against Nick.. whom I've always respected for his honesty. In fact I've chased away quite a few of these fundamentalists myself, or provoked insult/ban.. and I've been as concerned as you about the religion-freaks hijacking topics in this section.

Neverteless, I've disagreed many times with you as well, suppose because I am a wanderer ? That could be the collision between us.. You STATE things about any subject you write about. You act as a teacher, in domains which are not so clear cut for me.. that is, philosophy, religion, ethics. I am the opposition for you, not because I have ideas of any kind, but because I introduce questions and doubts about your ideas. This topic is an example.

Guess it is unrepairable. Success in this section Indi, don't mind me. I won't disturb you anymore.
loveandormoney
Quote:

When and why can employers fire people for something they've done off-the-job?



You forget the most important point:

Misuse of power for doing other people damage without a reason
example revenge.
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