Is it Right to be Fired for Being a Jerk?

business_ethics_highlights_2It’s all too easy to be happy when we see something bad happen to someone who has himself acted very badly. But ethically, we need to think a bit harder, especially when the “something bad” that happened was done to them by someone as a form of punishment. When we punish, we inflict harm. And inflicting harm always requires moral justification. >>>

LINK: Fired for being a jerk in public: does the punishment fit the crime?

I wrote recently about why Hydro One was wrong to fire an employee over the crudely sexist way he and his friends treated a female journalist at a soccer game.

Lots of people disagreed with me, apparently sensing a kind of cosmic justice in a man losing his job over acting like a jackass in public. As I indicated in my previous entry on this case, I have no interest in defending this particular guy’s behaviour, which was sexist and boorish. But I’m disturbed by the glee with which so many people celebrated the fact that he lost his job—his source of income, his means of supporting his family—as a result of his drunken bad behaviour….

What do you think?

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  1. Kaitlyn O`Neill

    I completely agree with the contents of this article. Especially with the heightened exposure of employee’s personal lives via social media and the internet, or in the case of more public dealings the media, I think that personal proceedings are affecting treatment in the workplace more and more. I believe that one’s personal life should not influence job status or career advancement. As long as an individual performs well at work, and does all that is required of them while on the job, they should not be punished for how they behave during personal endeavours.

  2. Pingback: Fired for Mock ISIS Beheading at Work | Business Ethics Highlights

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