Over the last week, national news in Canada has been highlighted by a group of young men yelling “FHRITP” into a microphone while the female reporter was doing a live report before a soccer match in Toronto. Please click here to see the footage.
After the event was aired nationally, Hydro One, an Ontario-based electrical company, fired the soccer fan found in the picture above. This person didn’t yell the obscenities into the reporter’s microphone but ‘defended’ his friend for having the ‘right’ to say such things.
Hydro One stated that the actions of the employee harmed their reputation. At the time of the incident, there was no evidence of what company the person was employed with. The linkage between the heckler and Hydro One started to be leaked out via social media and certain local media outlets.
I understand Hydro One’s decision to dismiss their employee for their involvement in the incident due to the fact the work environment would not be safe or comfortable for people who would deal with the heckling supporter. What I personally don’t agree with is the fact that Hydro One stated that the act hurt the reputation of the company. How the person could hurt the company’s reputation if nobody knew where the person worked?
According to a few media reports like here, Hydro One may have a very hard time to prove that their reputation was hurt by the incident. It will also be hard to show to the courts that the incident has made the workplace unsafe.
After the dust has settled, the biggest question I have left is what happened to the person that actually yelled out the obscenities?
Do you think that the situation was handled properly by Hydro One? Should the employee have been sent to a training session or counselling? Please let me know what you think.
Have an awesome week.
Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S Business Consulting offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on a bi-weekly basis.