“Firing employees for racist behavior – what would you do?”

What would you do?  It is a question employers  face every day.  Some take action and some do not.  Which are you?

In the past few weeks we have read about a Leominster police officer, John Perreault, being investigated for allegedly yelling a racist remark at baseball player Carl Crawford.  That investigation turned up an apparent pattern of public racist comments.  He was fired.

Then, Paraskevi Papachristou, a Greek triple jumper, was expelled from her Olympic Team for a racist tweet.

In yet another instance, Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella was expelled for posting a racist message on Twitter.

All of these individuals are, in their respective fields, public figures. All are role models. Their stories send a strong message and a recurring reminder that what one does — whether as a private citizen or on the job — can have devastating effect on employment status.

What would you have done?  As an employer, given a similar scenario in your workplace, what would you do?  How much responsibility or opportunity do you see in this?  What specifically would prompt you to react?  What specific type(s) of action would you take?

Why do you think some employees get fired, some get slapped on the wrist and others experience no consequences for similar behavior?

With social media, our personal lives and our work lives collide in ways that we have never had to deal with before.  It makes us more vulnerable and exposed and yet it adds a layer of responsibility on employers.

We are interested in your responses.


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