I usually don’t ask myself how someone gets fired before they even start their job, but…in Texas, Kaitlyn Walls, a single mother, trying to get out on her own, had just been hired at a daycare center. She posted on Facebook, “I start my new job today, but I absolutely hate working at a daycare. I just really hate being around a lot of kids.” The daycare center learned of the post before she reported to work, and she was told she no longer had a job. Ms. Walls said “I actually cried it really hurt because I wasn’t trying to offend anybody ever…It really was a big mistake. I don’t hate children. I have my own I love her. I was just venting.” She is now looking for another job. I normally would post a Practice Pointer, but this one is just too obvious.
Meanwhile, last week, the NY Times reported that AT&T terminated Aaron Slator, who was the president of content and advertising sales, when he “became the subject of a $100 million discrimination lawsuit for using his work phone to send racially offensive images.” According to the lawsuit filed by Knoyme King, a 50-year-old African American woman who worked for Mr. Slator, the racially offensive images were found when his assistant was transferring data to a new phone. As president of content and advertising sales, Slator was responsible for a multi-billion dollar budget for “content acquisition that is consumed by subscribers of Dallas-based AT&T U-verse TV service.”
Practice pointer. This is the perfect example of how conduct by a high-ranking executive can jeopardize the financial resources and the reputation of an employer, even one as big as AT&T. Last week, I posted about how important it is to conduct an investigation and take the proper disciplinary action. It appears as if AT&T conducted an investigation and found enough merit in the allegations to justify his termination. It is often difficult to terminate an employee, especially an executive such as Slator, but AT&T meted out what it thought was the proper punishment: termination. According to King’s lawyer, the lawsuit will continue against Slator, AT&T and others.