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People are being fired for comments made about the Vancouver riot

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posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 01:56 PM
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OK, first please let me make my position clear on this: I watched (on TV) in horror and disgust as rioters tore apart downtown Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup. I agree that all who participated in that debacle should be prosecuted and made to repay, in some way, the damage that was done.

However...the issue emerging now is one of free speech vs the rights of employers. It appears that, in the aftermath, there is a backlash against anyone even commenting on the riots. This news article is about a man who witnessed the rioting, and commented about it on his facebook page. The comments were in bad taste, apparently meant as a joke, but did not imply that he was involved. He was subsequently fired from his job as a carpenter because of the possible negative publicity.






Mcilvenna listed Rite Tech Construction on his profile as his employer, and the morning after the riot, he was called in by the boss and promptly fired.

Rite Tech owner Justin Reitz says that Mcilvenna's thoughtless comments impacted his company's reputation.

"I just didn't feel like what was said was appropriate, and I didn't want any affiliation towards my company with the things he said on Facebook," Reitz said.


Here is another article from the Globe & Mail about people being fired for their alleged involvement in the riot. The question here is: does an employer have a right to dismiss someone for their activities outside of work, if it doesn't adversely affect their ability to perform the job?




Some people have already lost their jobs as a result of their alleged involvement in the riot and others could face dismissal as their employers come under pressure from angry customers who want to see rioters sacked.


I believe what happened in Vancouver last Wednesday was a "mob rules" situation. Most of the people who acted irresponsibly (and criminally) during the riot were reacting to the mob, being cheered on by the mob, and feeling invincible at the moment. I doubt many of them would have behaved similarly if no one was watching.

Now, in a similar pattern, the backlash is also a reaction to a "mob rules" situation, in which rioters are being castigated publicly for their behaviour. When a guy is fired for making a joke about the riot (and there is no evidence that he was involved in any way) then a line has been crossed.

What do you think ATS?




posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 02:23 PM
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Are they? You know they'll get away with it. Should they be able to? I don't believe so. How is firing someone for their opinion all that different from me harassing them because of it? In a lot of ways, it's worse, and I view it as a form of harassment.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 02:27 PM
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The internet is kind of like a politician that doesn't realize that their mic is still on. A few quiet words said to a friend can turn into a global scandal. People don't understand that this "virtual" community is in fact VERY real.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 02:35 PM
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Putting anything on Facebook that you would not want the entire world to see is absolutely stupid.

This guy should have been fired for the stupid factor, let alone exposing his employer to negative publicity.
"I am sorry, but you have shown that you are not smart enough to work for me". Period.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 02:39 PM
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Wish this happened more often.

What an idiot. Got what he deserved.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 02:57 PM
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Well, that was Canada, but I can tell you in the U.S. many do not understand what "free speech" means. What it DOES not mean or govern is what a business may do; it only protects you from government prosecution and persecution for your speech. A business has the right (in most states) to fire you for this sort of thing and in many states, they can fire you for anything not expressly protected, like your race, creed, gender, etc. You CAN be fired in Right to Work states for ANYTHING else, from the color of your shoes, for using a blue pen, anything. In fact, in those states, they have the right to fire you for NO REASON at all unless you are under some sort of contract, like a union or an individual contract between you and your emplloyer that spells out ground for termination.

In this case, I support the business owner who is correct in saying the guy's stupid comments put his business at risk.

Main takeway, people need to educate themselves about what "rights" mean. They certainly do not absolve you of ANY consequences for saying dumb things.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 03:09 PM
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People who riot because their sports team loses do not deserve a job. I would not want to work with them or want them working for me or coming on my premises to perform work on behalf of a contractor.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 03:14 PM
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This subject is very close to my heart, as I am moving my family from Nova Scotia back to Vancouver next month after several years away, and in my opinion, Vancouver (and the entire Lower Mainland) is the most beautiful place in Canada to live, with the friendliest and most respectful citizens of any city I've ever lived, and I was extremely proud to see so many volunteers cleaning up the mess the morning after the riot.

First let me comment on the man who was fired for making the "bad taste" comment. I don't think he should have been fired, because he was not personally involved in the riot, however I think his employer would have been well within his rights to require that he remove his affiliation with that company on his Facebook profile. This would have resolved the employer's concern about bad publicity.

Second, to answer your question about employers having the right to fire employees who participated in the riot, I feel that they definitely do have the right to decide how they want their public image to be perceived, and that Vancouver-based employers have every right to decide to fire an employee who participated in the Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot.

Take the now-famous case of Camille Cacnio, a now-former employee of Burrard Acura (who absolutely did the right thing by firing her on the spot). She willingly participated in looting a downtown clothing store and was caught on video leaving the store laughing while carrying out stolen merchandise. She posted a lengthy "apology" on her blog, during which she openly admitted stealing items from the clothing store because it was "fun", and made a lame attempt at justifying her actions by saying that was the only time she would ever do something like that:



And still, a lot of people will never find remorse for me because I had a huge smile on my face. But like I said earlier, it was fun at the time. I thought it was pretty funny because this is the only time that I would ever do something like this. The smile on my face was an “I’m such a badass I can’t believe I’m doing this!” kind of look.


She also attempted to convince anyone reading her apology that her crime was a minor one, and therefore she shouldn't be grouped in with other participants of the riot:


I did not vandalize any buildings.

I did not set fire on anything.

I did not break any glass.

I did not instigate the riot.

I did not physically harm anybody.

I did not jump on any cop cars.

I did not even plan on being in the riot.

On any regular day I would not condone looting.

However, at the time of the riot everything just seemed so right.


Full text of original apology by Camille Cacnio

The fact of the matter is, even if she didn't steal anything, simply by refusing to leave the area once the VPD read the Riot Act, she broke the law, and her employer has the right to decide not to employ a criminal.

The whole riot disgusted my wife and I as we were watching it live. For the record I am not a hockey fan, nor a fan of any sport, but since I'm moving my family back to Vancouver next month, my wife and I spent the evening of June 15th, 2011 watching live feeds of the crowds in downtown Vancouver online, and reading Twitter posts about the event. For two full hours before the game, we noticed there were an increasing number of tweets saying there was going to be a riot after the game, and the closer it got to the end (and the more likely that Vancouver would lose), we saw more and more people tweeting "there's going to be a riot" and to "get out of downtown Vancouver NOW!".

Less than 5 minutes after the game was over, my wife directed my attention to the live feed and we saw the first car being flipped over. We spent the next 4 hours going back and forth between live feeds, TV news (CBC), and Twitter, and contrary to VPD claims that "anarchists" were responsible for the riot, we saw only crazed, drunken, hockey jersey wearing fans openly attacking cars and businesses in downtown Vancouver. Not one "Black Bloc" anarchist/instigator, as they claim. We also noticed that at least two thirds of the people we saw in the crowds were taking pictures or videos of what was happening, and before we went to bed that night, those pictures and videos had already made their way onto Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube - evidence of what they had done.

Because of the unprecedented nature of this riot (it happened live not only on TV, but on Twitter and Facebook - the first ever Social Media Riot), I feel that anyone in the downtown core of Vancouver who participated in the riot should fear for their jobs. The public backlash is unlike anything I have ever seen, with Facebook groups helping the VPD to identify every rioter they possibly can.

Because of the huge amount of public outrage, I feel that any employer of a riot participant is well within their rights to distance themselves from anything to do with the whole situation - they have a business to run, and having a rioter in their employ definitely does adversely affect their ability to run a successful business.

Remember, these people rioted over a freaking hockey game. There were nearly 3 million people surrounding Tahrir Square on February 10th, 2011, peacefully protesting against nearly 30 years of oppression, and they did not riot even after Mubarak refused to leave office that day. North Americans need to get their priorities straight.
--
The good news for me is that there's going to be a pretty lucrative job market when I get back there next month - with all the firings going on in Vancouver right now, It'll be a heck of a lot easier for me to find a job there.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 03:17 PM
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The riots were an education in stupidity and mob mentality. But just because someone makes a smart ass comment about it doesn’t give and employer the excuse to fire them for it. Does his contract state that he cannot say something stupid off work?
The next riot will be to take back our free speech. Regardless of your opinion of his comment he’s not encouraging rioting to be a weekend thing but he has the right to say what he wants. I don’t have to agree with him but he has every right to say what he wants’. Better to be silent and thought an idiot than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt. Well now we have no doubt.
But he has a right to.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by groingrinder
People who riot because their sports team loses do not deserve a job. I would not want to work with them or want them working for me or coming on my premises to perform work on behalf of a contractor.


The riots were started by an anarchist group from Surrey.

They would've happened win or lose.

The MSM will cover this up with the "stupid hockey fans" label for as long as they continue to get tax breaks and grants from the federal government.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 03:25 PM
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LOL

The guy was an absolute idiot, and fully deserved his sacking.

While his comment wasn't that bad, people need to understand that you are not just talking with your friends when you post on Facebook and other social networking sites.

Never mind his comment, I'd have just sacked him for the idiocy which he displayed by not understanding the realities and workings of the internet.


edit on 22-6-2011 by Sherlock Holmes because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 04:19 PM
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[The riots were started by an anarchist group from Surrey.


Wow, where did you get that from? It's absolutely not true...so far, the ones arrested have been from Surrey, New Westminster, Maple Ridge, Burnaby, Vancouver, Duncan, etc.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by jhnsmth
First let me comment on the man who was fired for making the "bad taste" comment. I don't think he should have been fired, because he was not personally involved in the riot, however I think his employer would have been well within his rights to require that he remove his affiliation with that company on his Facebook profile. This would have resolved the employer's concern about bad publicity.


I agree with you jhnsmth, I believe the employer was reacting to public pressure to fire the guy. Removing his connection with the company on Facebook should have been enough. It's possible that there were other issues with him as an employee, and this one was only the latest and last straw. It will be interesting to see what the legal fallout will be from these firings.

One more thing: welcome back to the Lower Mainland...it is a great place to live!




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