British Columbia

Was Hydro One right to fire heckler involved in the FHRITP incident?

Hydro One has said they have taken steps to fire an employee who was involved with heckling a female journalist at a soccer game. Now, one lawyer says that former employee faces a daunting task to get employment.

Vancouver lawyer says Hydro was well within their rights to fire heckler

CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt faced sexually explicit taunts from hecklers at the Toronto FC match. (CityNews)

Following intense online backlash, Hydro One has said they have fired an employee involved with the heckling of a female reporter.

Shauna Hunt of CityNews faced sexually explicit taunts while covering a Toronto soccer game by a number of fans then challenged them to explain why they made their derogatory remarks.

"I watched the interview a number of times, and I said 'good on you, get rid of the guy,'" Vancouver lawyer Tony Wilson told BC Almanac's Gloria Macarenko.

Wilson, the author of the book Manage Your Online Reputation, says while some may think Hydro One's decision to fire their employee was harsh, it was well within their rights.

"What people always seem to forget is you can fire anyone for anything. The issue is cause or no cause."

He says the fired employee faces a steep uphill battle in finding new work.

"The big problem with this guy is who is going to hire him? What sort of corporation is going to hire a guy that says something like this to a reporter? He could just as easily say something like that to someone in the workplace.

"He's got that around his neck for the rest of his professional career. That's worse than any criminal sanction that he could ever get."

Listeners weigh in

BC Almanac received a number of calls from listeners who offered their thoughts on the extent of the punishment.

Vanessa from Vancouver:

"I think it's the right decision. Is that someone you want to work with or in your office? I personally wouldn't want to work with him so I agree with the actions of the company."

"It's horrifying to see this still going on. I, along with everyone else, applaud the actions of the reporter."

Thomas from Vancouver wrote in to say:

I certainly don't want to be perceived as defending these men, however is my own time not my own? Do our personal morals have to align themselves with whoever we work for? I'm glad these people are revealed for who they are but what happens with the corporation I might depend on to put food on my table, decides my opinions or off hours activities don't match their ideals. This is a bit scary that these people have been judged by essentially a faceless mob.

Catherine from Kelowna:

"I was really really happy to see Hydro One take the stand that they did. They outed themselves with how ignorant they are and it's great to see that this won't be accepted in the workplace or the community."

Brian from Nanaimo:

"I wouldn't have said that he should have been fired for what he did, but I certainly accept the notion that Hydro One fired him because they didn't want this character around their employees.

Peter from Vancouver:

"I'm wondering if the employer could have given him one last chance. If he blows it again, he's out. I wish more men could put themselves in the place of women."


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