Anaconda Mining fires employee for racist, homophobic social media posts
Mining company says it cannot comment on specific case, but points to company policy
A St. John's man says he's happy with the actions taken by a mining company with operations in Newfoundland and Labrador after he reported an employee's racist and homophobic posts.
Earlier this month, Devon Bryan noticed anti-Black Lives Matter posts on Facebook that a former classmate had responded to by commenting, "White Lives Matter."
The posts read "BLM is now known as Burn, Loot & Murder (pass it on)" and "F--k BLM bullshit." Bryan decided to call out his former classmate's comments, he told CBC News, and received an aggressive response.
"It turned into body shaming and it turned into homophobic slurs, racial slurs. And he really ticked off all of the boxes for discrimination," said Bryan.
The classmate did not respond to CBC's requests for comment. CBC News is not identifying him.
Bryan, a member of the LGBT community, noticed his former classmate listed his employer as Anaconda Mining, which operates in Baie Verte, N.L., so he tagged the company in a response to his classmate's posts, and followed up with a phone call.
"You can't expect to represent your professional life and hold these extreme opinions and express them freely without repercussion, because once you represent your place of work on social media, it's no longer a completely private page anymore," said Bryan.
Satisfied with company's response
Bryan said the company was prompt and courteous in its response. And while, due to privacy regulations, the company would not tell him what happened, Bryan said he learned later his former classmate was no longer with the company.
Anaconda Mining declined to confirm to CBC News the employee had been let go, saying the company would not comment on matters "regarding private employment relationships.
In a statement, Lynn Hammond, the company's vice-president of corporate affairs, said the company has a comprehensive respectful workplace policy and harassment prevention plan and that their employees are required to participate in training specifically related to the policy.
Employees are also required to sign a document to acknowledge that they understand and will adhere to the policy and failure to comply with any part of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
In the aftermath of Bryan's interactions with him, members of the former employee's family posted on Facebook that the situation had caused financial and emotional stress.
Bryan said his former classmate should have thought of the consequences before making the comments he made.
"I do feel terribly that, you know, I'm causing a whole family stress," said Bryan. "But at the bottom line, that's completely on him."