Top 10 People Who Got Fired For The DUMBEST Reasons
Jobs are necessary, not only to keep the wheels of society turning, but to improve our quality of life, finance our dreams, or simply to make ends meet. Sometimes things don't go as planned and we are forced to enter a new chapter in life, but what if that new course was spurred by a completely unjustifiable or downright plain stupid reason? We'll run down the stupid reasons people were fired for, starting with a man saving lives by wrestling a shark to a cafeteria worker with a heart of gold.
Giving Food To A Needy Student
Diane Brame was fired from her cafeteria manager job at Hudson Elementary School in Webster Missouri for having a heart of gold. After holding her position for two years, she noticed a fourth-grader regularly walking through the lunch line without money for food. The student was on the school's federally subsidized free-lunch program, accidentally letting his participation expire with language barriers thwarted reapplication. She allowed the student to "charge" his lunches, letting the bill accrue to $45, well past, the school's $10 debt limit, and often gave the boy free hot meals to shield him from peer harassment. When her supervisor caught wind of her activities, she was terminated. Receiving a tremendous amount of backlash from the community, the decision to let her go was recanted and she quickly got her job back.
Wearing A Green Bay Packers Tie
Working at Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, Illinois, car salesman John Stone wore his Green Bay Packers tie, after they ended the hometown Bears season in the NFC title game, to work the following Monday. Not amused, his boss, Jerry Roberts, repeatedly asked him to remove the tie due to "salting the wounds" of Bears fans and that it "makes it harder to sell cars in what's already a competitive sales environment." When Mr. Stone did not comply, he was terminated from his position, with the boss quoting to a newspaper, "If he loves the tie more than his job, he's welcome to keep wearing it, elsewhere." Although Mr. Stone was a Green Bay Packers fan himself, there was another reason he was donning the tie that day. It was to honor his grandmother, Verletta Stone, who had passed away recently to the incident, who was a long term Packers fan.
Not Wearing A Speedo
Roy Lester was forced out of his Jones Beach lifeguard job that he had held for 40 years when he refused to wear a speedo for an annual swim test. Sixty-one at the time, in previous years he was allowed to use a more modest pair of biking shorts to take the test and soon thereafter filed an age discrimination suit against the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, believing the new "speedo" edict was an attempt to rid Jones Beach of its aging lifeguards, where more than 80% are older than 40. According to state standards, "boxer, briefs, or board shorts" are required when taking the 100-yard swim test, with more relaxed standards in the city, stating they are only required to wear a bathing suit, size and make unspecified. State officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Caps Lock Abuse
A ProCare Health worker, Vicki Walker of Auckland, New Zealand, was dismissed from her health care administrative position when her use of capital letters, and the use of bold and highlighted reds was deemed inharmonious to the workforce. The company alleged that this wasn't her first incident in using such tools, but when pressed by New Zealand's Employee Relations Authority they could only produce one e-mail. The e-mail was only instructive in nature, spelling out how employees were required to fill out certain forms, with the really crucial parts capitalized and colored in blue, and the time-sensitive aspects highlighted in red and bold. The Employment Relations Authority deemed this pretty extreme and subsequently Vicki Walker was rewarded $2,600 or €2,407 for lost wages, with an additional $11,500 or €10,646 compensation for non-economic loss for wrongful termination.
Saving A Life
On Hallandale Beach in Florida, lifeguard Tomas Lopez was informed of a man that was drowning and immediately went to help save him. As a result, he was fired for it. The reason because his employer, Jeff Ellis and Associates, said he left the section of south Florida beach where their company is paid to patrol. They state that Lopez broke a company rule that could have put other beachgoers in the "proper" perimeter at risk. Another lifeguard, Szilard Janko, confirmed that he guarded Lopez's zone while he was aiding the swimmer. Three other lifeguards have quit in protest, and another two were dismissed after stating they would have acted as Lopez did. Tomas Lopez was offered his job back, but he has since declined.
Shaving Head For Charity
Stacey Fearnall, formally a waitress at an Owen Sound, Ontario restaurant, lost her job after she shaved her head to raise money for the charity, Cops for Cancer. Telling her bosses what she had planned to do, which they adamantly deny, she was sent home and told that she wasn't welcome back. Quoting her bosses, she stated they said, "We'll call it a layoff. Spend the summer with your kids." This caused an outcry with the community, with some customers now refusing to eat at the establishment. Although Ms. Fearnall has grounds to sue her former employers, she hasn't decided if that would be a course she plans to pursue. On the other side of the coin, her employers claim that her dismissal wasn't intended to be permanent and due to policy was only until her hair grew back to an appropriate length.
Son Diagnosed With Cancer
Former Barclays employee, Rachel Walsh, was let go from her job after her infant son was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a kind of cancer that causes tumors to grow in the retina of the eye. Initially, she had taken time off for maternity leave, and requested more time off as needed, which the bank seemed more than accommodating. When she contacted her bosses in September of 2012 to return on a flextime basis, she was denied any position with the bank. The British bank had concerns about her returning due to her possible inability to uphold the heavy workload and stringent deadlines associated with it. Later, they would assert that Ms. Walsh declined to return to her full-time position that the firm had made available for her. This turned out to be false by evidence of phone recorded messages.
Occurring at Indiana University Health Goshen Hospital, eight employees, including at least three veteran nurses, were sacked when they refused to take a mandatory flu shot announced in September of 2012, then implemented on December 15th the same year. At least one nurse, Ethel Hoover, tried to file two medical exemptions, a religious exemption, and two appeals before the deadline, but all were denied. The hospital stated that it implemented the mandate to promote patient safety based on the recommendations from the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but of the hospital's 26,000 employees statewide, only 95% complied. This meant that 1,300 employees refused to comply, but somehow only eight were fired. Needless to say, this has sparked controversy over which should come first: employee rights or patient safety?
What started as a bit of fun with a growing trend dubbed the Harlem Shake, fifteen Australian miners are out of a job when a video, posted on YouTube, showed eight workers performing the Harlem Shake underground in the Agnew Gold Mine located in Western Australia. Barminco Limited, owners of the mine, stated in a dismissal letter that they considered the stunt a safety violation which breached its "core values of safety, integrity, and excellence". The dismissal letter also contained an affidavit that the mining contractor would not be allowed to utilize or subcontract the "dancing men" at any of its sites in Australia or elsewhere. When watching the video, it is unclear as to which safety violations were committed as the dancing miners wore helmets, lamps and glasses, had oxygen on hand, and no equipment seemed to be in use.
Wrestling A Shark
A former employee of Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club, Paul Marshallsea was dismissed as a project coordinator after wrestling a shark in Bulcock Beach, Australia. He was on extended sick leave from his job with his wife Wendy when the incident occurred. Paul grabbed the dusky whaler shark, considered a potential danger to humans, after it started swimming towards children in shallow water, dragging the 6-foot or 2-meter marine animal to deeper water, where he was almost bitten. Caught on camera, the incident went viral and caught the attention of his employers. Having worked for the charity for ten years, and often seven days a week, he was surprised when he returned home to a letter of dismissal due to a "breakdown of the trustees confidence and trust" in his ability to perform his duties because his stress related sick leave seemed more like a vacation.