There are many reasons someone may get fired from their job, but it seems that women often bare the brunt of the most ridiculous terminations, like Melissa Nelson who was recently fired for being too attractive.
Take a look at the following six examples and please try not to throw your computer:
1. Going Braless
What if I told you I was writing this blog post write now sans bra? Would you think I could get fired for doing so?†Would you even care?
I’m sure Shea Allen, a former reporter for ABC in Huntsville, Alabama didn’t think her braless confession would lead to her termination, but shortly after posting a blog admitting she had “gone bra-less during a live broadcast and no one was the wiser,” she was terminated without cause.
Allen had initially taken down the “offending” post titled “Confessions of a Red Headed Reporter” after coming under fire at work, but then thought better and re-posted it with the following note:
This post was taken down because I was momentarily misguided about who I am and what I stand for. To clarify, I make no apologies for the following re-post…Here’s the thing, I’ve vowed to always fight for the right of free expression. It’s allowed, no matter what the profession. I pride myself in having earned the respect of many because I make no apologies for the truth and hold nothing back. I don’t fight for things because they serve me, I fight for them because they are right. Sources trust me because I am an unadulterated version of the truth. I won’t ever bend just because its popular to do so and I’m not bending now.
I’m glad that Allen isn’t bending here, especially if it means I’ll be able to go to work braless more often. I joke…
2.†Sending a Tweet
Sexual jokes are not appropriate in the workplace; telling a sexual joke may even get you fired. But it turns out that standing up against a sexual joke can get you fired, too.
At least such was the case for†Adria Richards who famously posted the following tweet during this year’s PyCon Conference:
Richards posted additional tweets to have the issue addressed and even linked to the conference’s code of conduct which clearly states, “Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks.”
The men were quickly removed from the conference, but the story doesn’t stop there. One of the men eventually lost his job (perhaps for representing his company poorly and not following the conference’s code of conduct when his employer was a sponsor) and the backlash turned to Richards and her employer SendGrid, who then publicly terminated her with the following Facebook post:
Effective immediately, SendGrid has terminated the employment of Adria Richards. While we generally are sensitive and confidential with respect to employee matters, the situation has taken on a public nature. We have taken action that we believe is in the overall best interests of SendGrid, its employees, and our customers.
Richards had no intention of making this man lose his job, nor did she intend to lose her own or be the target of harassment and death threats. What she wanted to do was address the sexist joke at a conference where women are largely underrepresented in the hopes that in the future women wouldn’t have to deal with such nonsense.
About her decision to address the incident Richards said, “I saw a photo on main stage of a little girl who had been in the Young Coders workshop. I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so.”
For future generations of tech girls I thank you Adria Richards.
Imagine what it would be like to have a group of guys chant “Shows us your tits! Show us your bush!” while you were†at work.
Sure†Christina Walkinshaw is a stand-up comedian and bantering with the crowd is par for the course, but at this particular gig she had been specifically instructed not to engage with the crowd. So instead of shooting the hecklers a sassy line to get them to quiet down as she usually would, she was forced to go on with her entire set with no back-up.
When Walkinshaw finished, she was wasn’t the only one that was furious. The headlining comedian who was to go on after her had been running around during her entire set to get the offending group kicked out, or at the very least quieted, but had no cooperation from the venue’s staff.
At the end of the night Walkinshaw addressed what happened with the woman running the show and was met with the following apology, “Oh! Sorry! We thought you liked it.”
Walkinshaw continued to work her scheduled appearances for the rest of the weekend and then found out the next week that she was banned from the club for an “incident” that had occurred over the weekend. You mean the incident where she was sexually harassed on stage and the club did nothing about it? Yup, that’s it.
About the incident Walkinshaw has said on her blog:
Iím not a perfect comic. I donít know if I dealt with the situation in the right way when it happened, and I donít know if Iím dealing with it right now. Iím just a girl, working two jobs to try to enjoy a life of making people laugh….the fact is, Iím hurt. I lost work as a comedian because I canít handle an audience chanting ‘Show us your tits!’ Sorry. Iíll try to grow thicker skin.
If you ask me, Walkinshaw shouldn’t have to grow a thicker skin and she handled herself just right.
4. Refusing to Get a Brazilian
Learning to give a Brazilian wax is something you would expect a spa employee at a waxing center would be required to do. Having to perform a Brazilian on a colleague and then having her practice on you? Not so much.
However, when†Jennifer Finley refused to take part in the group waxing exercise she was required to do as a part of training for her new job, she was fired by the owner.
Finley has since†filed a lawsuit against the spa. According to the complaint, she refused because†it was “humiliating, painful, embarrassing, and discriminatory.” While she explained her concerns about the waxing to a female trainer, adding that she was also expected to start her period the day of the exercise, she was told to “pop a fresh tampon, take some ibuprofen, and youíll be fine.”
Clearly this is absurd, and if you disagree why don’t ask your co-worker if you can give them a bikini wax? I kid.
5. Having Premarital Sex
Teri†James wasn’t fired for being being pregnant. She was†fired for having premartial sex.
James had been working at the San Diego Christian College and violated the school’s Handbook and Community Covenant by engaging in sex outside of marriage, which is considered “immoral behavior” according to the handbook.
After she was fired, the school offered a job to her fiance (now husband) who had also clearly been engaging in premartial sex as evidenced by his pregnant bride. For him, however, the “immoral behavior” was perfectly acceptable.
She has since filed a lawsuit in San Diego County superior court, and I for one hope she wins and sets a precedent for other women to avoid such ridiculous discrimination.
6.†Taking a Photo
Emily Tanen loves all animals, but especially pit bulls. She owns and operates her own animal rescue organization called Project Pet, where she rescues pit bulls from New York Cityís kill shelters and helps find them forever homes.
When Tanen was working at the Manhattan branch of Animal Care and Control of New York City, she was drawn to pit bulls again. She began taking pictures of the animals who were schedules to be euthanized – often times pit bulls – in a last ditch effort to save their lives.
Instead†Tanen lost her job.
The quality of an animal’s picture can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. When Tanen saw that she could improve the quality of images AC&C was providing potential adoptive homes, she brought in her own personal camera to do a better job.
Some would call that going above the call of duty and praise their employee for taking initiative.
I certainly would.
Photo Credit: Victor1558 used under a Creative Commons license